Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

By William Shakespeare

Newly revised, this is Shakepeare's dramatic play approximately stars-crossed fanatics, "Romeo & Juliet". It contains a new creation through Sylvan Barnet, former Chairman of the English division at Tufts collage, an up to date bibliography, instructed references, and degree and picture background.

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A thirty-seventh play, Pericles, published in 1609 and attributed to Shakespeare on the title page, is also widely accepted as being partly by Shakespeare even though it is not included in the 1623 volume. Still another play not in the 1623 volume, The Two Noble Kinsmen, was first published in 1634, with a title page attributing it to John Fletcher and Shakespeare. Probably most students of the subject now believe that Shakespeare did indeed have a hand in it. Of the remaining plays attributed at one time or another to Shakespeare, only one, Edward III, anonymously published in 1596, is now regarded by some scholars as a serious candidate.

Near the end of this section on Shakespeare’s theater we will talk at some length about possible implications in this convention of using boys to play female roles, but for the moment we should say that it doubtless accounts for the relative lack of female roles in Elizabethan drama. Thus, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, out of twenty-one named roles, only four are female; in Hamlet, out of twenty-four, only two (Gertrude and Ophelia) are female. Many of Shakespeare’s characters have fathers but no mothers—for instance, King Lear’s daughters.

In 1856 it was reaffirmed by W. H. Smith in a book, and also by Delia Bacon in an article; in 1857 Delia Bacon published a book, arguing that Francis Bacon had directed a group of intellectuals who wrote the plays. Francis Bacon’s claim has largely faded, perhaps because it was advanced with such evident craziness by Ignatius Donnelly, who in The Great Cryptogram (1888) claimed to break a code in the plays that proved Bacon had written not only the plays attributed to Shakespeare but also other Renaissance works, for instance the plays of Christopher Marlowe and the essays of Montaigne.

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Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
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