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Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet Analysis

Literary Devices in Romeo and Juliet

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

We might be in Verona, but don't think you're reading a travel guide: Shakespeare's setting of Verona is more like a shorthand for "exotic and crazy" than a real setting. What we think is super coo...

Genre

You probably guessed that The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is, well, a tragedy. (And yes, that's the full title on the 1599 version of the play.) But for the first two...

Tone

"Here's much to do with hate, but more with love," Romeo says at the play's beginning, and the dynamics of extreme emotion define the tone of the play (1.1.7). Romeo and Juliet deals in extremes th...

Writing Style

Right from the Prologue we know Shakespeare wants to make this play a big deal. Check out how epic his language is, right from the beginning:Two households, both alike in dignityIn fair Verona, whe...

What's Up With the Title?

Yep: the full title of the 1599 version of the play reads The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. We happen to think "excellent and lamentable" is a pretty accurate descripti...

What's Up With the Ending?

In the play's final scene, Romeo finds Juliet's "dead" body and, rather than face life without her, swallows a vial of poison moments before Juliet wakes up. When Juliet realizes her husband is dea...

Tough-o-Meter

Well, it's Shakespeare: we can't lie to you. He may have been writing for the masses back in the sixteenth-century, but it's easy to miss the jokes if you have to keep flipping to the footnotes, an...

Plot Analysis

Family FeudThe play opens with a public brawl. A simple hand-gesture from a Capulet servant to a group of Montague servants spirals into a full-out fight, but the Prince is so over it. From this po...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

In the first half of Act I, both Romeo and Juliet have potential romantic partners, but neither one is really satisfied. Romeo is literally unsatisfied because Rosaline has sworn a vow of chastityâ...

Three Act Plot Analysis

I Love You, You Love MeRomeo and Juliet fall in love, only to realize that they are on opposite sides of an ongoing war between their families. Act I ends with the lovers pursuing their affair in t...

Trivia

In Elizabethan England, the legal age for marriage (with parental permission) was twelve-years-old for girls and fourteen-years-old for boys. Nowadays, we tend to think of Juliet as just a tad youn...

Steaminess Rating

For Sex, Sexual Language, Brief Nudity, and Bawdy JokesCover your eyes, kids, because there's very little in Romeo and Juliet that can't be interpreted as some kind of dirty joke. Even the most ser...
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