Romeo and Juliet reloaded

The greatest love story ever told

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The overall outline for Romeo and Juliet: The Study Guide Edition

   This book 2


This is a very brief outline of topics covered in Romeo and Juliet: The Study Guide Edition



The blurb for ‘Romeo and Juliet’: The Study Guide Edition, available in paperback and e-book on Amazon.

“Clearly Francis Gilbert is a gifted and charismatic teacher,” Phillip Pullman, author of “Northern Lights”.

“An excellent teacher,” Jeremy Paxman on BBC’s Newsnight.

Are you struggling to understand Shakespeare’s classic play ‘Romeo and Juliet’? Are you a teacher who needs a really good edition of the play which will enable students to understand the play’s complex language and cover all the key areas required to get a good grade in an examination or coursework?

This brilliant edition of Shakespeare’s great love story may be the answer to your prayers. Written by a teacher who has taught the text for more than twenty years in various secondary schools, this version is aimed at students who must analyse the text in depth or teachers wanting to deliver outstanding lessons on it. The book contains the complete text together with a parallel modern translation, which most students will be able to read independently or in small groups: the language is entirely appropriate for ages 11-18 years.

The text is broken up by exercises on every important section of the play, with fill-in-the-gaps tasks to check understanding, questions to aid in-depth analysis, creative response tasks and tips on acting out the play. The first section of the book is an up-to-date study guide which explains the plot, characters, language and imagery in detail, with visual diagrams and links to relevant websites. The final section of the book contains an exhaustive explanation of how to write top grade essays on the play, including sample A* answers as well as summaries of significant literary criticism. There are plenty of pointers to help students develop their own personal responses, including thought-provoking thematic questions.

This books covers the following areas in depth:

It checks basic understanding by providing fill-in-the-gaps exercises on every important part of the play.

It looks at why students should study Romeo and Juliet.

It examines Shakespeare’s story, looking at the structure & themes: love, hatred and the feud, fate and the use of time.

It discusses the contexts (the background) of the play: the different versions of the play, including Brooke’s poem upon which the play is based, Nashe’s ‘Have With You to Saffron Walden’ (1596)and ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream ‘.

It investigates the nature of Shakespearean tragedy, discussing the rules Aristotle set out for this genre.

It explores the world of Shakespeare’s theatre and The Globe, discussing social and political contexts.

It provides an overview of various productions of ‘Romeo and Juliet

It contains a detailed section on Shakespeare’s language, examining his imagery and grammar, exploring his use of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs.

It contains a very helpful section on his use of rhythm and rhyme, setting exercises which will help students really understand this complex subject.

There is a long section on his use of characterisations, discussing all the main characters in depth.

As well as the play itself and a very accessible modern translation of it, there is a detailed summary of every act and scene.

There are a number of speaking and listening activities that are very easy to do and really aid understanding.

There is a readable account of the literary criticism of the play which looks at feminist, Marxist, cultural materialist and queer theory approaches to the text.

There is a detailed account of how to write a good essay on the play which includes a dissection of sub-standard essay and an example of an A* essay.

Finally, there is a section which helps students compare the play with filmed versions & performances.




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Romeo and Juliet, a love story in pictures

Useful blog on telling Romeo and Juliet in pictures from various Broadway productions

MCNY Blog: New York Stories

Vandamm. [Katharine Cornell and Basil Rathbone.] 1934. Museum of the City of New York. 35.169.3 Vandamm. [Katharine Cornell and Basil Rathbone.] 1934. Museum of the City of New York. 35.169.3 It has been called the greatest love story of all time.  Even those who disagree can acknowledge that in the over 400 years since it was first performed, Romeo and Juliet has become one of the most well-known love stories in the world. Indeed, the tragic tale of forbidden love wasn’t original when William Shakespeare first put quill to page. The Bard borrowed liberally from classical stories and contemporary poems. Yet, it is his version that endures. The play was a Broadway staple in the early half of the 20th century, but a new production this fall is the first in over 25 years. The 36th Broadway production of Romeo and Juliet is currently playing at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, and with an Off-Broadway production by the Classic Stage Company and a new film version…

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Swords as symbols of status

Excellent blog on swords, which are very relevant to Romeo and Juliet

British Museum blog

Shakespeare’s Restless World is currently being broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Today’s episode Swordplay and Swagger: Rapier and Dagger looks at violence in Shakespeare’s plays and London’s streets.

Toby Capwell, Curator of Arms and Armour, The Wallace Collection

When we think of rapiers we usually imagine the ‘flashing blades’ of Errol Flynn, Douglas Fairbanks, and other Hollywood swashbucklers. The modern understanding of swords is however littered with misconceptions.

Medieval swords are usually stereotyped as heavy and cumbersome while rapiers are thought of as feather-light and lightning-fast. But actually it is just the reverse: medieval swords tend to be very light and agile while real rapiers, at least in the 16th century, tended to be quite heavy and, to an untutored hand, often seem very ungainly.

The proper use of any weapon depends on the user being trained in the specific fighting technique which relates to it. A sword is inseparable…

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Welcome to Romeo and Juliet Reloaded

I’ve written a modern version of Romeo and Juliet which is published in sections on this site, with the scenes allocated to specific acts. It took me ages, and is a work in progress so comments/improvements are much appreciated! Leave a comment please. My aim was to make it more interesting and engaging than the Spark Notes Modern Version. It’s less accurate, but is more in the spirit of things, as you’ll see immediately at the beginning of Act 1, Scene 1…