Star-crossed Lovers

Last night I finished re-reading Jane Eyre and was wondering what I could read next that would even come close to Charlotte Brontë’s level. I didn’t have to wonder for long because today I ran across The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet not once but twice. Since it is that time of year, and Shakespeare is on my to-read list for the year, I thought I would give it a go. Is anyone else interested? I’m not planning to do a serious study, I just want to read it for fun, and perhaps post a little something on Friday. I invite you all to grab a box of tissues and read along!

The Reconciliation of the Montagues and Capulets over the Dead Bodies of Romeo and Juliet by Lord Frederick Leighton


9 comments on “Star-crossed Lovers

  1. Danielle says:

    I have been meaning to read this–I even have the audio of it (with Kenneth Branagh checked out from the library). I'm not sure I can squeeze it in by the end of the week…but I might just pull it out and give it a try…

  2. Imani says:

    What a coincidence–I picked up a new copy of Hamlet last week (darn those books left in Jamaica) and momentarily considered picking up R & J as well. I don't think that I'll be able to read it with you but I've read it so often, since I was little, that I may feel as though I am.
    Danielle I envy you your audio book with Branagh. The only film adaptation of Hamlet I acknowledge is his.

  3. JCR says:

    Yes, Romeo and Juliet… are you limiting your reading to love tragedies? I love the language in Romeo and Juliet… it is in fact a great play to just read. I just taught it this past fall.

  4. Sylvia says:

    Hi JCR! My Shakespeare reading this year will be purely ad hoc, so it could be anything. I intend it mainly as a mental tonic, but who knows what will come of it?
    The introduction in my Norton Shakespeare talks about the language too. I'm looking forward to it.

  5. Sylvia says:

    Hey Cinnimani, guess which Shakespearean tragedy was on the tube today? The Bard is coming at me from all directions.

  6. Andrew says:

    Forgive my ignorance, but I've always found R&J to be rather juvenile in that these kids are too young for it to be an effective tragedy.
    What is the attraction? Is one meant to gloss over their age, and focus on other aspects?

  7. Sylvia says:

    I think that back in the day (and in many parts of the world still today) they would have been considered of marriageable age. Indeed it was Juliet's impending arranged marriage that forced events in the play. In earlier versions of the story Juliet is of various ages; I don't know why Shakespeare picked 13 for his version.
    Our culture's extended (though now shortening) childhoods are a historical anomaly, as I understand it. I think kids are capable of a lot more than we give them credit for.
    And what could be more tragic than young lives cut short?

  8. Cinnimani says:

    The language alone will be able to transport you. It's not as if we see Juliet standing around popping bubblegum, twirling her hair and using “like” a lot. And Sylvia made strong points on the different views of childhood over the ages. The idea of a “teenager” is a fairly recent phenomenon.
    Branagh's “Hamlet” was on? 😮 And I missed it! *sob* I should really get that on DVD.

  9. Sylvia says:

    I wasn't convince by his dye job, but as for the rest of it… wow. He actually made me cry, the rotter.

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