“Two households, both alike in dignity
(In fair Verona, where we lay our scene)
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife
The fearful passage of their death-marked love
And the continuance of their parents’ rage,
Which, but their children’s ends, naught could remove,
Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage;
The which, if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.”
-Act 1, Scene 1, Romeo and Juliet
-Genre: Romantic Tragedy, Tragedy
-Number of Words: 24,545 (around 170 pages or so in modern printing)
-Characters: Romeo Montague, Juliet Capulet, Prince Escalus, Count Paris, Mercutio, Capulet, Lady Capulet, Tybalt, The Nurse, Rosaline, Montague, Lady Montague, Benvolio, Friar Laurence, Friar John, Peter, Sampson, Gregory, Abram, Balthasar, An Apothecary, A Chorus
-Where to Read: support local booksellers (many can order items that may not be in stock) or look for it at your local library!
-Page of Reference in RP1: 174
Review (contains spoilers):
One of my favorites of Shakespeare’s plays. This is the classic tragedy almost everyone had to read in high school but this one sticks with you and changes as you age.
When I first read it I did identify a little with Juliet. Her family seems quite harsh and the idea of two families feuding is insane. But I did think the pair were a little crazy. It was not as many say #couplesgoals.
The older I get the more I see how much this show was meant as a warning, as many of Shakespeare’s tragedies were. The story is that of woe, and heartbreak, and the consequences that overreach what you may think the decision you made would have had.
If you cannot grasp the language on the page (it is sometimes hard to read and ive taken classes to study it) then I recommend watching one of a million different versions. One of my favorites is the version that uses the Bard’s actual language but set it in LA during a gang war- Romeo and Juliet with Claire Danes and Leonardo DeCaprio. West Side Story is another wonderful retelling if you like musicals…though the ending was changed because Maria dying too was deemed too tragic.