Romeo and Juliet Historical Context

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Both the story of Romeo and Juliet and Shakespeare's life take place during the Renaissance, a period that begins in the fourteenth century and extends into the seventeenth century. The term renaissance means rebirth and refers to the revival of an interest in the classical cultures of Greece and Rome. However, there are many social, political, and intellectual transformations that comprised the Renaissance. As the influence of the Roman Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire waned with their inability to maintain stability and unity among the Europeans, the feudal structure broke up and the power shifted to nations that were developing their own monarchies and language. Also of great importance were city-states (e.g., Florence, Italy, as controlled by the infamous Medici family and perhaps fictional Verona as ruled by Prince Escalus). Many details in Romeo and Juliet connect it to Italian Literature with which...

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This section contains 683 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Romeo and Juliet Study Guide
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Romeo and Juliet from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.