Romeo and Juliet


The greatest tragedy by William Shakespeare knows no greater loss than the misadventures of a couple in love, Romeo and Juliet, suffering the terrible enmity of their families: Montagues and Capulets, two feuding families, in the city of Verona, Italy. The death of both closes the curtains on the best-known love story on Earth. In one of the most heartfelt lines, Juliet says: "O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo" referring to the name that forced the separation of both.

Verona, July. At a masked ball two people meet, one known as Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet, who are immediately attracted. Romeo declares his love to her when he visits her on the balcony of the family home. But being aware of the hatred that separates the two noble families, they choose to marry in secret to the priest Lorenzo. Then, in a personal struggle, one of the Capulets kills a friend of Romeo's and Romeo in turn kills the murderer. Romeo is forced by his family to hide in Mantua.

Juliet's father, who is unaware of the secret wedding, wants to force his daughter to marry Count Paris. Juliet visits the priest asking for advice, for she neither wants nor can and cannot break her marriage vow.

The priest then gives her a potion that produces the appearance of death in people, sending them into deep sleep. The priest believes Romeo will come to her rescue. She takes the potion. Romeo returns to Verona upon hearing of Juliet's death and, full of hate, kills Paris. Then he finds Juliet supposedly "dead." Unable to bear so much pain, Romeo gives her one last kiss, takes a poison and falls dead at her feet. When Juliet recovers from the lethargy that follows from the death potion she see Romeo's lifeless body, realizing that he is truly dead, she also kills herself, striking a dagger into her chest.

After the terrible tragedy of deaths and hatreds surrounding impossible and eternal love, families transcend distances and reconcile with one another, alas, too late for the star crossed lovers. Romeo and Juliet have been taken to film, theatre, dance, symphonies, concertos, symphonic poems, ballets and hundreds of paintings and sculptures have been produced.

Background In Tragedy

Literary works from Shakespeare have been a favorite of mine for many years. And R J is not an exception.

The exact date is not known when Shakespeare began writing the tragedy, although it refers to an earthquake that supposedly would have occurred eleven years before the facts that were narrated. Since Italy was indeed shaken in 1580 by an earthquake, it has been assumed that Shakespeare may have begun drafting the play by 1591. However, the existence of other earthquakes in different years prevents the issue of a definitive conclusion on this subject. From a stylistic point of view, however, the similarities of Romeo and Juliet with "A Midsummer Night's Dream", as well as with other works between 1594 and 1595 , affect the possibility that it could have been written between 1591 and 1595.

The first edition of Romeo and Juliet is from 1597 and was published by John Danter in fourth-grade 1 format (hence the Q1 technicality with which it is known). The various differences presented by his text from subsequent editions have given reason to believe that it may have been classified as a bad version; T. J. B. Spencer, a 20th-century editor, described this text as "detestable." A reconstruction from the imperfect memories of one or two actors", suggesting that this is an illegal copy of the work altogether unrepresentative of what Shakespeare had originally used. It has also been argued that its flaws stem from the word that, as with other theatrical texts of the time, it may have been published before its final representation. However, its appearance supports the hypothesis that 1596 is the latest possible date for the composition of "Romeo and Juliet."

The second edition, known as Q2, was titled "The Excellent and Regrettable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet." It was published in 1599 by Cuthbert Burby and edited by Thomas Creede. Responding to what is indicated on the cover (the text has been "corrected, augmented, and revised"), it includes about 800 verses more than the text of Q1.

Some specialists believe that Q2 is based on the draft of the first staging, because it contains textual rarities such as different names assigned to the same character and "false beginnings" in speeches that, it is presumed, could have been suppressed by the author, but wrongly preserved by the publisher. Thus, Q2 presents a more complete and reliable text than its predecessor. This version was reissued in 1609 as (Q3), in 1622 as (Q4) and in 1637 as (Q5). Otherwise, it is the text that is followed in modern editions.

In 1623 it appeared in the compilation known as "The First Folio", with the Q3-based text and with some corrections made on the basis of a scenic note.

Years later, other editions of the First Folio were published: in 1632 (F2), in 1664 (F3) and in 1685 (F4).

The first modern versions, based on the fourth and first folio editions and their reissues, were by Nicholas Rowe in 1709 and Alexander Pope in 1723, who initiated the tradition of editing the text by adding some additional information and details that do not appear in Q2, but in Q1.

The reissue of the work has been constant ever since, since the Victorian era, its edition has been accompanied by explanatory notes on its sources and the cultural and social context in which it was produced.

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