Romeo and juliet, p.29
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       Romeo and Juliet, p.29

           William Shakespeare
 
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  Rackin, Phyllis. Shakespeare's Tragedies (1978).

  Rose, Mark, ed. Shakespeare's Early Tragedies: A Collection of Critical Essays (1995).

  Rosen, William. Shakespeare and the Craft of Tragedy (1960).

  Snyder, Susan. The Comic Matrix of Shakespeare's Tragedies (1979).

  Wofford, Susanne. Shakespeare's Late Tragedies: A Collection of Critical Essays (1996).

  Young, David. The Action to the Word: Structure and Style in Shakespearean Tragedy (1990).

  ------. Shakespeare's Middle Tragedies: A Collection of Critical Essays (1993).

  10. The Histories

  Blanpied, John W. Time and the Artist in Shakespeare's English Histories (1983).

  Campbell, Lily B. Shakespeare's "Histories": Mirrors of Elizabethan Policy (1947).

  Champion, Larry S. Perspective in Shakespeare's English Histories (1980).

  Hodgdon, Barbara. The End Crowns All: Closure and Contradiction in Shakespeare's History (1991).

  Holderness, Graham. Shakespeare Recycled: The Making of Historical Drama (1992).

  ------, ed. Shakespeare's History Plays: "Richard II" to "Henry V" (1992).

  Leggatt, Alexander. Shakespeare's Political Drama: The History Plays and the Roman Plays (1988).

  Ornstein, Robert. A Kingdom for a Stage: The Achievement of Shakespeare's History Plays (1972).

  Rackin, Phyllis. Stages of History: Shakespeare's English Chronicles (1990).

  Saccio, Peter. Shakespeare's English Kings: History, Chronicle, and Drama (1977).

  Tillyard, E. M. W. Shakespeare's History Plays (1944). Velz, John W., ed. Shakespeare's English Histories: A Quest for Form and Genre (1996).

  11. Romeo and Juliet

  In addition to the titles listed above in Section 9, The Tragedies, see the following:

  Andrews, John F., ed. Romeo and Juliet: Critical Essays (1993; contains essays by Mark Van Doren, Derek Traversi, M. M. Mahood, J. L. Calderwood, Marjorie Garber, Coppelia Kahn, Barbara Hodgdon, and others.)

  Bevington, David. Action Is Eloquence: Shakespeare's Language of Gesture (1984; see esp. pages 111-13).

  Charlton, H. B. Shakespearian Tragedy (1948).

  Clemen, Wolfgang. Shakespeare's Soliloquies. Trans. Charity Scott Stokes (1987).

  Fergusson, Francis. Trope and Allegory: Themes Common to Dante and Shakespeare (1977).

  Halio, Jay L., ed. Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet": Texts, Contexts, and Interpretation (1995).

  Hoppe, Harry R. The Bad Quarto of "Romeo and Juliet": A Bibliographical and Textual Study (1948).

  Knight, G. Wilson. Principles of Shakespearean Production with Especial Reference to the Tragedies (1936).

  Levenson, Jill L. Romeo and Juliet (1987; stage history).

  Moore, Olin H. The Legend of Romeo and Juliet (1950).

  Myers, Henry Alonzo. Tragedy: A View of Life (1956; the relevant chapter comparing Romeo and Juliet with A Midsummer Night's Dream is reprinted in the Signet edition of A Midsummer Night's Dream2.

  Porter, Joseph A. Shakespeare's Mercutio: His History and Drama (1988).

  Rabkin, Norman. Shakespeare and the Common Understanding (1967).

  Traci, Philip J. "Suggestions About the Bawdry in Romeo and Juliet." South Atlantic Quarterly 71 (1974): 341-59.

  1 The degree sign (deg) indicates a footnote, which is keyed to the text by line number. Text references are printed in boldface type; the annotation follows in roman type.

  Prologue 1 dignity rank 3 mutiny violence 6 star-crossed fated to disaster 12 two hours' traffic of our stage i.e., the business of our play

  2 See H. B. Charlton, Senecan Tradition in Renaissance Tragedy, first published in 1921 as an introduction to The Poetical Works of Sir William Alexander (Manchester University Press and Scottish Texts Society) and reissued separately by the Manchester University Press in 1946.

  3 For differences between the many pre-Shakespearian versions, see H. B. Charlton, Romeo and Juliet as an Experimental Tragedy (British Academy Shakespeare Lecture, 1939) and "France as Chaperone of Romeo and Juliet" in Studies in French presented to M. K. Pope, Manchester University Press (1939).

  4 Broke, Romeus and Juliet (Hazlitt's Shakespeare's Library, Vol. I, 1875), p. 142.

  5 Ibid., p. 151.

  6 Ibid., p. 147. See also pp. 97, 115.

  7 In the earlier versions the mask is not a precaution for safety. Shakespeare, taking it partly as such, has to realize how utterly ineffective it is. Romeo is soon known: This, by his voice, should be a Montague!

  Fetch me my rapier, boy. What dares the slave

  Come hither, cover'd with an antic face,

  To fleer and scorn at our solemnity? (1.5.56-59)

  8 Aeneid XII. 147.

  9 Odes I.xxxv.

  10 Restoring the Q2 reading of "I" for "ay" in ll.45, 48, and 49.

  11 Most lamentable day, most woeful day, That ever, ever, I did yet behold! O day, O day! O day! O hateful day! Never was seen so black a day as this. O woeful day, O woeful day! (50-54)

  12 The play is famous for its long arias, of which there are two kinds. The speeches of the lovers are expressions of their isolation and desire; separated from each other, they speak at length. The Nurse, Mercutio, and Capulet, however, are given great bursts of speech in company; and the reaction of those around them is important. Their set-pieces are met with outcry; but they are carried away and will not stop. Each is a force in nature breaking into the expected or permissible flow of things; each imitates the impulsive action of the play, "of nothing first create"; each adds to the prevailing sense of impatience and irrepressible energy.

  13 Endeavors of Art, p. 137; Italianate intrigue tragedy is discussed on pp. 128-142. Doran includes under this heading the revenge tragedies Titus Andronicus and Hamlet; but these touch only peripherally on sexual love, and as she notes, they also "cross the lines of the other big class, the tragedy of power" (p. 131). On the other side, Leo Salingar distinguishes the four comedies based on novelle--Merchant of Venice, Much Ado, All's Well, and Measure for Measure--as verging on the tragic in somberness of mood and seriousness of issue, though not in structure; see Shakespeare and the Traditions of Comedy (Cambridge, 1974), pp. 301-305.

  14 Arthur Brooke's Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet (1562) recounts a story that appears also in the novella collections of Bandello and Painter; another such collection, Giraldi Cinthio's Hecatommithi (1565), provided the source for Othello.

  15 Various critics have commented on the comic thrust of the early acts of Romeo, with interpretations ranging from H. A. Mason's somewhat lame and impotent conclusion, "Shakespeare decided that in a general way the play needed as much comedy as he could get in" (Shakespeare's Tragedies of Love [London, 1970], p. 29), to Harry Levin's well-argued contention that the play invokes the artifices of romantic comedy in order to transcend them ("Form and Formality in Romeo and Juliet," Shakespeare Quarterly 11 [1960]: 3-11). Levin's essay is illuminating on the play's style; he does not speculate on what the transcendence-of-artifice theme (admittedly already used by Shakespeare in a comedy, Love's Labour's Lost) has to do with tragic structure. Franklin Dickey deals at some length with Romeo as "comical tragedy" in Not Wisely But Too Well, pp. 63-88. But Dickey's treatment of comedy is nonorganic, dwelling on such features as the witty heroine, the motif of lovers' absurdity, the debate on love's nature, the elaborate patterning of language, and the commedia dell'arte type-characters. He does not deal with why Shakespeare would want to present a tragic story this way or how the large comic element shapes the play as a whole. To explain the presence of that element, Dickey invokes the conventional association of love with comedy. J. M. Nosworthy thinks the comic admixture a mistake and blames it on Shakespeare's immaturity, as well as on the influence of Porter's Two Angry Women of Abington. "The Two Angry Families of Verona," Shakespeare Quarterly 3 (1952): 219-226.

  16 Charlton, "Romeo and Juliet" as an Experimental Tragedy, British Academy Shakespeare Lecture, 1939 (London, 1940), pp. 8-12.
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  17 Anatomy, p. 169. Although the younger generation participate in the feud, they have not created it; it is a habit bequeathed to them by their elders.

  18 Experimental Tragedy, pp. 36-40.

  19 Maynard Mack, "Engagement and Detachment in Shakespeare's Plays," in Essays on Shakespeare and Elizabethan Drama in Honor of Hardin Craig, ed. Richard Hosley (Columbia, Mo., 1962), pp. 287-291.

  20 1.4.113; 2.2.82-84. Later Mercutio hails the lovers' go-between, the Nurse, with "A sail, a sail!" (2.4.108).

  21 3.4.23-28; 3.5.202-203; 4.1.6-8, 77-85, 107-108, 4.5.35-39.

  22 3.5.241. In the potion scene Juliet's resolve weakens for a moment, but almost immediately she rejects the idea of companionship. The momentary wavering only emphasizes her aloneness: "I'll call them back again to comfort me. Nurse!--What should she do here? My dismal scene I needs must act alone" (4.3.17-19).

  23 Or in the comic part of a history, in the case of Falstaff's pretended death on the battlefield at Shrewsbury.

  24 The same effect, if not intention, is apparent in the reported death of Imogen in Cymbeline.

  25 "On the Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth," in Shakespeare Criticism: A Selection, ed. D. Nichol Smith (Oxford, 1916), p. 378.

  26 Prefaces to Shakespeare (London, 1963), iv, 62-63.

  27 Shakespeare and the Popular Dramatic Tradition (London and New York, 1944), p. 111. Charles B. Lower agrees and argues as well for the more doubtful proposition that the audience needs to be reassured that Juliet is really still alive. Lower convincingly defends the authenticity of a Q1 stage direction, "All at once cry out and wring their hand[s]," which, by requiring the laments of Lady Capulet, the Nurse, Paris, and Capulet (4.5.43-64) to be spoken simultaneously like an opera quartet, would increase the scene's burlesque quality. "Romeo and Juliet, 4.5: A Stage Direction and Purposeful Comedy," Shakespeare Studies 8 (1975): 177-194.

  28 Granville-Barker wrote in 1930 that modern producers usually lowered the curtain after the climactic potion scene and raised it next on Romeo in Mantua, skipping the mourning and the musicians entirely. Prefaces, IV, 63-64. The most notable production of more recent years, by Franco Zeffirelli, omitted the musicians. J. Russell Brown, Shakespeare's Plays in Performance (London, 1966), p. 177.

 


 

  William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

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