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Romeo and Juliet Summary
William Shakespeare

Everything you need to understand or teach Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.

  • Romeo and Juliet Summary & Study Guide
  • 264 Student Essay
  • 1 Encyclopedia Article
  • 66 Literature Criticism
  • 1 Book Note
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  • 30 Romeo and Juliet Lessons
  • 20 Activities
  • 180 Multiple Choice Questions
  • 60 Short Essay Questions
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Romeo and Juliet Summary


The exact year in which William Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet is unknown, but it is definitely one of his earlier works, and one of only two tragedies written in the period from 1590 to 1595. The other tragedy, Titus Andronicus followed the conventions of Seneca and Marlowe, i.e., built around a single heroic figure, but Romeo and Juliet was innovatively different. The plot was based on a fourteenth-century Italian short story, or novella, written by Matteo Bandello, that included elements of history, tradition, romance, and fable. This story had been put into verse form in 1562 by British poet Arthur Brooke. In Shakespeare's hands, fashionable elements of Elizabethan drama were inserted, certain characters were magnified, and sensational scenes were added. In addition, Shakespeare surrounded the innocent lovers with the mature bawdiness of other characters. In truth, the play was experimental for its time, but it was well-received by contemporary audiences...

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Romeo and Juliet Study Guide

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Romeo and Juliet Lesson Plans contain 138 pages of teaching material, including:

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