Understanding Romeo and Juliet: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999 - Literary Criticism - 241 pages
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The tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet has touched the hearts of young and old for nearly four hundred years. In this work, Alan Hager has compiled a rich collection of primary materials and contemporary ranging from information about the earliest performances of "Romeo and Juliet" to discussions of suicide in the 1990s. Designed to help students of the play, "Understanding Romeo and Juliet" highlights many different aspects of the play's context. Such aspects include a discussion about religions of love in the East and West, and examination of vendetta and collective violence, and an analysis of the play in the context of classical and medieval thought. Hager relates the work to issues as recent as the so-called Werther Syndrome (copycat suicide based on fictional models) and as remote as the notion of reincarnated love such as that of Rama and Sita in the Sanskrit epic "Ramayana."

Following a literary analysis of the play, the casebook provides commentary and primary documents on the narrative backgrounds and sources of the play and selections from those sources; a discussion of its performance history on stage, in opera and film; the historical context of the play as an exploration of the nature of love, with selections from poetry of the period; and selections on real-life parallels, such as present-day Bosnia, the recent Leonardo DiCaprio-Claire Danes film of the play, and teen suicide in the 1990s, all of which will help readers to relate to the play. Each section of the work closes with topics for class discussion and papers and suggested works for further reading.

 

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Contents

Analysis of Romeo and Juliet
1
Narrative Backgrounds to Romeo and Juliet
33
Ovids Story of Pyramus and Thisbe in Metamorphoses 8 AD?
39
Xenophon of Esphesus Ephesian Tale of Anthia and Habrocomes second or third century AD
43
Chaucers Troilus and Criseyde ca 1390
48
Masuccio Salernitanos ThirtyThird Novel from II Novellino
58
The Narrative Source of Romeo and Juliet
67
Arthur Brookes Romeo and Juliet 1562
72
The Book of the Courtier by Baldassare Castiglione 1528
174
Giordano Brunos The Heroic Frenzies 1585
175
Ripeness Is All in Edgar Wind Pagan Mysteries in the Renaissance 1958
176
Shakespeare and Renaissance Contrariety 1980
177
Romeo and Juliet in the 1990s
183
The Poetics in Aristotles Theory of Poetry and Fine Art 330 BC?
187
Steve Marshall Forbidden Love Leads to Suicide of 8th Graders 1995
188
An unattributed Newsview on Teenagers 1989
190

The Lyrical Source of Romeo and Juliet Sir Philip Sidney and the Elizabethan Sonnet
93
The Performance History of Romeo and Juliet
115
Romeo and Juliet 1987
127
Harley GranvilleBarker Prefaces to Romeo and Juliet Julius Caesar and Loves Labours Lost 1930
131
The Historical Context of Romeo and Juliet
147
Platos Symposium 385 BC?
151
Plotinus Six Enneads after 253 AD
156
Selections from the Poems of Eight Trobadors ca 1190
159
The Tristan and Isolde of Gottfried von Strassburg 1210
162
Troubadours and Cathars in Denis de Rougemonts Love in the Western World 1940
165
Gay Talese Unto the Sons 1992
170
ParacelsusL Selected Writings 14931541
173
Evidence of Imitation 1986
192
Letters to the Editor in The New England Journal of Medicine 1988
193
In Verona for the Opera a Visitor Finds There Is No Escaping the Citys Most Famous Couple 1996
195
Let Me Tell You About My Problem 1993
201
Bob Herbert Romeo and Juliet in Bosnia 1994
204
OK So He Isnt John Grisham But More and More Films Are Betting the Bard Can Make Money at the Multiplex 1996
207
Belinda Luscombe Her SoCalled BigDeal Film Career 1996
209
Lou Cariozo Shakespeare Rocks 1996
211
Glossary of Critical Terms and Names
221
Index
233
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

ALAN HAGER is Professor of English at the State University of New York at Cortland and author of "Major Tudor Authors: A Biocritical Sourcebook" (Greenwood, 1997).

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