"The permanent popularity, now of mythic intensity, of Romeo and Juliet is more than justified," writes eminent scholar Harold Bloom, "since the play is the largest and most persuasive celebration of romantic love in Western literature."
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) based his early romantic tragedy on Arthur Brooke’s 1562 poem The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet. Shakespeare’s resulting masterpiece, in turn, has inspired countless retellings around the world in mediums that include literature, dance, stage, and screen.
"It is Shakespear all over, and Shakespear when he was young," declares William Hazlitt (1778-1830), acclaimed British essayist and critic, in his exuberant Introduction to this Modern Library edition.
"Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes, A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life; Whose misadventuríd piteous overthrows, Do with their death bury their parents’ strife." –Prologue
William Shakespeare (1564–1616) was a poet, playwright, and actor who is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers in the history of the English language. Often referred to as the Bard of Avon, Shakespeare’s vast body of work includes comedic, tragic, and historical plays; poems;… More about William Shakespeare
"We can more easily decide between Shakespear and any other author, than between him and himself. Shall we quote any more passages to shew his genius or the beauty of Romeo and Juliet? At that rate, we might quote the whole."