Romeo and Juliet

Content Group

Romeo and Juliet, William Terriss as Romeo, 19th Century

This play has become the adored icon for doomed romantic love, although the first two acts have a verve and humor missing in the concluding downbeat scenes, which are usually heavily cut. Early productions favored a more positive conclusion in their revisions, including the survival of the lovers, as did Lope de Vega in his treatment of the same story. Throughout Juliet has a charm and verve which wins her more sympathy than the fickle, volatile and over-hasty Romeo, who precipitates their ruin, and who is responsible directly or indirectly for six deaths in Shakespeare's script. Mercutio adds a distinctive eccentricity to the early scenes (see James William Wallack in the role). The Nurse is an archetypal humorous figure: the garulous, sex-fixated crone, like Chaucer's Wife of Bath or La Celestina of Rojas (see Edith Evans in the role). The filmed versions of the play, such as Zeffirelli's, often have more energy and visual appeal than the staged ones (compare, for instance, this 1911 production with Zeffirelli's film). See Performing Romeo and Juliet for a curated tour of this site's materials on the play.

Romeo and Juliet, 19th Century
Romeo and Juliet, Frank Benson as Romeo, 1888
Romeo and Juliet, Eric Mayne as Mercutio, 20th Century
Romeo and Juliet, Nora Kerin as Juliet, 1909
Romeo and Juliet, Knickerbocker Theatre, 1904
Romeo and Juliet, Jane Cowl as Juliet, 1923
Romeo and Juliet, Guthrie McClintic Company, 1934
Romeo and Juliet, Phoenix Theatre, 1998
Romeo and Juliet: Bryn Mawr College, 1908
Romeo and Juliet: Fred Terry Production
Romeo and Juliet: 1968 Film
Romeo and Juliet: Royal Shakespeare Company, 1990
Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, 2007: Set for Romeo and Juliet.



Allam, Roger. "Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet." In Players of Shakespeare 2: Further Essays in Shakespearean Performance by Players with the Royal Shakespeare Company, edited by Russell Jackson and Robert Smallwood, 107-19. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988.

Alexander, Peter, ed. Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare. London: BBC; New York: Mayflower Books, 1978.

Betken, William T., ed. The Other Shakespeare: "Romeo and Juliet." Rhinebeck, NY: Bardavon Books, 1985.

Black, James. "The Visual Artistry of Romeo and Juliet." Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, 15, no. 2 (Spring 1975): 245-56.

Branam, George C. "The Genesis of David Garrick's Romeo and Juliet." Shakespeare Quarterly 35 (1984): 170-79.

Brown, John Russell. "S. Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet." Shakespeare Survey 15 (1962): 147-155.

Brown, John Russell, ed. Romeo and Juliet. New York and London: Applause, 2001.

Bruce, Brenda. "Nurse in Romeo and Juliet." In Players of Shakespeare: Essays in Shakespearean Performance by Twelve Players with the Royal Shakespeare Company, edited by Philip Brockbank, 91-101. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

Bruster, Douglas. "Teaching the Tragicomedy of Romeo and Juliet." In Approaches to Teaching "Romeo and Juliet," edited by Maurice Hunt, 59-68. New York: MLA, 2000.

Burkhart, Robert E. "The Evidence for a Provincial Performance of Q1 Romeo and Juliet." English Language Notes 7 (1970): 9-13.

Cirillo, Albert R. "The Art of Franco Zeffirelli and Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet." TriQuarterly 16 (Fall 1969): 68-93.

Copeland, Nancy. "The Sentimentality of Garrick's Romeo and Juliet." Restoration and 18th Century Theatre Research 4, no. 2 (Winter 1989): 1-13.

Cusack, Niamh. "Juliet in Romeo and Juliet." In Players of Shakespeare 2: Further Essays in Shakespearean Performance by Players with the Royal Shakespeare Company, edited by Russell Jackson and Robert Smallwood, 121-35. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988.

Davies, Heather, director. Castelvines y Monteses [Capulets and Montagues], by Lope de Vega. CAPITAL production (RSC Complete Shakespeare Season), Dell Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, August 13, 2006.

Deats, Sara Munson. "Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet: Shakespeare for the Sixties." Studies in Popular Culture 6 (1983): 60-69.

Denson, Alan. Franco Zeffirelli's Production of William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." Kendal: Low Fellside, 1968.

Dessen, Alan C. "Q1 Romeo and Juliet and Elizabethan Theatrical Vocabulary." In Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet": Texts, Contexts, and Interpretation, edited by Jay Halio, 107-22. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1995.

Downing, Crystal. "Misshapen Chaos of Well-Seeming Form: Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet." Literature/Film Quarterly 28 (2000): 125-31.

Donaldson, Peter S. "'In fair Verona': Media, Spectacle, and Performance in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet." In Shakespeare After Mass Media, edited by Richard Burt, 59-8. New York and Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2002.

Elkins, Dennis. "About Romeo and Juliet." On-Stage Studies 14 (1991): 46-50.

Farley-Hills, David. "The 'Bad' Quarto of Romeo and Juliet ." Shakespeare Survey 49 (1996): 27-44.

Fischer, Susan L. "Aspectual, Performative, and 'Foreign' Lope/Shakespeare: Staging Capulets & Montagues and Peribanez in English and Romeo and Juliet in 'Sicilian.'" In The Comedia in English: Translation and Performance, edited by Susan Paun De Garcâia and Donald Roy Larson, 214-28. Woodbridge, UK: Tamesis, 2008.

Friedheim, Philip. "Berlioz's Roméo Symphony and the Romantic Temperament." Current Musicology 36 (1983): 101-11.

Glover, Julian. "Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet." In Players of Shakespeare 4: Further Essays in Shakespearian Performance by Players with the Royal Shakespeare Company, edited by Robert Smallwood, 165-76. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Gurr, Andrew. "The Date and the Expected Venue of Romeo and Juliet." Shakespeare Survey 49 (1996): 15-25.

Halio, Jay L. "Romeo and Juliet in Performance." In Shakespeare in Performance: A Collection of Essays, edited by Frank Occhiogrosso, 58-70. Newark: University of Delaware Press; London: Associated University Presses, 2003.

Hayes, Elliott and Michal Schonberg. Romeo and Juliet. Stratford, Ontario: CBC Enterprises, 1985.

Haywood, Charles. "William Boyce's 'Solemn Dirge' in Garrick's Romeo and Juliet Production of 1750." Shakespeare Quarterly 11, no. 2 (Spring 1960): 173-87.

Hodgdon, Barbara. "William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet: Everything's Nice in America?" Shakespeare Survey 52 (1999): 88-98.

Hodgdon, Barbara. "Absent Bodies, Present Voices: Performance Work and the Close of Romeo and Juliet's Golden Story." Theatre Journal 41 (1989): 341-59.

Holding, Peter. "Romeo and Juliet": Text and Performance. Houndmills and London: Macmillan Education Ltd., 1992.

Holderness, Graham. "Romeo and Juliet : Empathy and Alienation." Shakespeare-Jahrbuch (Weimar) 123 (1987): 118-29.

Hunter, Lynette, and Peter Lichtenfels. Negotiating Shakespeare's Language in "Romeo and Juliet." Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2009.

Jackson, Russell. "Beginning with Branagh: Romeo and Juliet, Hammersmith, 1986." In Shakespeare, Text and Theater: Essays in Honor of Jay L. Halio, edited by Lois Potter and Arthur F. Kinney, 146-162. Newark: University of Delaware Press; London: Associated University Presses, 1999.

Jackson, Russell, ed. Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare at Stratford. London: Arden Shakespeare, 2003.

Levenson, Jill L., ed. Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare in Performance. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1987.

Levenson, Jill. Romeo and Juliet: Searchable Database for Prompt Books

Lichtenfels, Peter, and Lynette Hunter. "Negotiations between Text and Stage in Romeo and Juliet." Shakespeare Bulletin 22, no. 2 (2004): 5-26.

Loehlin, James N., ed. Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare in Production. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Margolies, Dany. Review of The Capulets and the Montagues, by Lope de Vega, Andak Stage Company, New Place Studio Theatre, North Hollywood. Backstage, February 2, 2011.

Melchiori. Giorgio, "Peter, Balthasar, and Shakespeare's Art of Doubling." Modern Language Review 78, no. 4 (October 1983): 777-92.

Mooney, Michael E. "Text and Performance: Romeo and Juliet, Quartos 1 and 2." Colby Quarterly 26 (1990): 122-32.

Morrison, Evlyn, and Lee Bolton Robinson. Teaching Literature through Dramatic Experiences: "Romeo and Juliet." Vancouver: Creative Curriculum, 1992.

Newell, Alex. "Critical Interpretation and Dramatic Performance: The Chorus in Romeo and Juliet." Shakespeare Bulletin 10, no. 3 (1992): 20-22.

Puknat, Elisabeth M. "Romeo Was a Lady: Charlottee Cushman's London Triumph." Theatre Annual 9 (1951): 59-68.

Rodriguez-Badendyck, Cynthia, ed. and trans. Castelvins and Monteses, by Lope de Vega. Carleton Renaissance Plays in Translation 30. Ottawa: Dovehouse Editions, 1997.

Schlueter, June. "Tybalt in a Bloody Sheet, Paris in the Tomb: Speculations on Doubling and Staging in Romeo and Juliet." Shakespeare Yearbook 2 (1991): 1-22.

Stone, George W. "Romeo and Juliet: The Source of its Modern Stage Career." In Shakespeare 400: Essays by American Scholars on the Anniversary of the Poet's Birth, edited by James G. McManaway, 191-206. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1964.

Tabi, Katalin. "Editing Shakespeare for the Stage: A Comparative Analysis of Act I Scene iv of Romeo and Juliet." AnaChronisT (2003): 1-28.

Romeo and Juliet at Talkin' Broadway.

Thomson, Leslie. "'With patient ears attend': Romeo and Juliet on the Elizabethan Stage." Studies in Philology 92 (1995): 230-47.

Trussler, Simon, ed. Romeo and Juliet. Swan Theatre Plays. London: Methuen, 1989.

Versteeg, Robert. "A Multi-Media Production of Romeo and Juliet." Theatre Journal 21 (1969): 259-74.

Walen, Denise A. "'Such a Romeo as we had never ventured to hope for': Charlotte Cushman." In Passing Performances: Queer Readings of Leading Players in American Theater History, edited by Robert A. Schanke and Kim Marra, 41-62. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1998.

Willson, Robert F., Jr. "Star-Crossed Generations: Three Film Versions of Romeo and Juliet." In Approaches to Teaching Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, edited by Maurice Hutn, 179-85. New York: Modern Language Association, 2000.

Wright, Katherine L. Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" in Performance: Traditions and Departures. Lewiston: Mellen University Press, 1997.

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