The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

Book - 1992
Average Rating:
Rate this:
In Romeo and Juliet , Shakespeare creates a violent world, in which two young people fall in love. It is not simply that their families disapprove; the Montagues and the Capulets are engaged in a blood feud.

In this death-filled setting, the movement from love at first sight to the lovers' final union in death seems almost inevitable. And yet, this play set in an extraordinary world has become the quintessential story of young love. In part because of its exquisite language, it is easy to respond as if it were about all young lovers.

The authoritative edition of Romeo and Juliet from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:

-Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play
-Newly revised explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play
-Scene-by-scene plot summaries
-A key to the play's famous lines and phrases
-An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language
-An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play
-Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books
-An up-to-date annotated guide to further reading

Essay by Gail Kern Paster

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit
Publisher: New York : Pocket Books, c1992
ISBN: 9780743477116
Branch Call Number: 822.33 U3m 1992
Characteristics: li, 281 p. : ill. ; 18 cm
Additional Contributors: Mowat, Barbara A.
Werstine, Paul
Alternative Title: Romeo and Juliet


From Library Staff

Passionate love and death are paired in this most famous tragedy.

"Exit Music for a Film" - Radiohead

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jul 05, 2017

This is a story about two lovers named Romeo and Juliet who wanted to get married and leave their families because the two families had a feud which continuously kept interrupting their love life. When they tried to do this, there were a lot of challenges which they both had to go through to try and fulfill their dream. Unfortunately, many people died in the process and things got out of hand. The matter was not fully resolved and there was no real happy ending. Overall, peace was restored among the two families but there were many sacrifices which had to go along with the peace which is up to you guys to decide whether or not it was a happy ending.

Nov 13, 2016

I find reading the No Fear Shakespeare really helps you understand the play better because its written in modern text on one side and the original on the other. Therefore you get the full Shakespeare experience but you can also fully understand the play.
Having both the original and the translated helps because you can read the original and then if you're having trouble with the words, or the way it's written you can read the other translated side and get a deeper understanding for the play since it's written in a way that you can comprehend. Rating 4 out of 5 stars.
- Fallenangelhushhush of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Romeo and Juliet is a Shakespearean play about the tragic and romantic lives of two star crossed lovers whose love proves to be eternal. Although the original writing by Shakespeare is exceptionally beautiful, it can be extremely difficult to understand sometimes. The No Fear Shakespeare books eliminate this problem by including a more modern version right next to the original, which is super helpful. I think that it’s really important for all teenagers to read Shakespeare’s plays at least once! My teacher didn’t teach or assign us this play like you’re supposed to in high school but I decided to read it anyway, and I don’t regret it one bit! I would rate this 4/5 stars.
- @reginaphalange of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Oct 25, 2016

Romeo and Juliet is a memorable play about two young lovers from Verona who face obstacles in their course of love due to a feud between their families. It contains a variety of characters whose personalities range from bawdy to innocent; peaceful to hot-headed; and caring to cold. Furthermore, the play is a collection of themes and conflicts revolving around fate, violence, and true love, all of which hold their significance in today’s society. The most admirable element of the play are the poetic dialogues which are filled imagery, oxymora, and puns. Although the play features a great amount of violence and hostility, it makes sure to provide comedic relief through the speech or actions of some characters. Romeo and Juliet is rightfully known for its soliloquies and fast-paced action; it does an excellent job of purging the reader’s emotions. In spite of being written centuries ago, this tale will forever remain relevant because of the messages it conveys. An eternally beautiful and entertaining piece of work. 5/5 Stars
- @VirtueofReading of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

Two feuding families - The Montagues and the Capulets - each have kids, who against all odds fall in love. Together they have to overcome giant obstacles in order to be together, because they would do anything to be together - even die for one another.
Everyone knows of the classic that is Romeo and Juliet and their star crossed love. I had to read this novel for my grade 11 English class and I thought I wasn't going to like it because it was romance; but after reading it I actually really liked it because there was so much more to it then their love story.
- @Fallenangelhushhush of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

With all of his works, I never seem to be not baffled by the true wonders of English. The language, imagery, details, and characters all spin together so beautifully to create masterpieces of our watered-down language today. Romeo and Juliet is a classic of all times, with its conclusion stated in the beginning, only to sink the audience into despair with its colourful arch. The poetry is simply amazing, and one can tell with sonnets that this wasn't just any play back in the earlier times of England and theatre. I do believe, however, that I would have enjoyed this more if it wasn't a "must-read" for school.
- @Siri of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

Jul 01, 2016

Romeo and Juliet lost their lives because they had blind love between them. Both of them commuted a suicide.

Jun 24, 2016

I think it's better watched that read...

Jun 01, 2016

I've taught this novel 12 times and it never gets old -- there's always something new that's interesting about the motivations, characterizations, or language to point out. For example: Romeo is forever ruled by his passions and emotions but never displays Actual True Love. Juliet proposes to him (!!), arranges nearly 90% of the details! and Romeo still f***s everything up (though I don't use such language in the classroom...). Look at Juliet's long speech before she takes the potion: she lists off 14-18 separate things/situations she's afraid of (depending on how you split them up) and her last statement is Romeo! I drink to thee! As she quaffs it. Between the two title characters, who shows more masculinity, assertiveness, and integrity? I maintain the title should have always been Juliet and Romeo. :)

May 07, 2016

A story where true love is stronger than the words of hate.

Sep 27, 2015

Romeo and Juliet are young lovers separated by the ancient and enduring hatred between their families.

I didn't realize Romeo and Juliet had a history going back some fifty years prior to Shakespeare's play, first in a 1530 narrative and then in a 1554 novella, both published in Italy. The latter was translated and adapted into French in 1559. The French adaption was translated into English in 1567. That formed the basis for the long narrative poem by Arthur Brooke, The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet, published in 1562, Shakespeare's primary source for his play.

More than any other Shakespeare play I have read, Romeo and Juliet is replete with plays on words, malapropisms, innuendos, and double-entendres, many of which are spoken by Mercutio.

The Pelican edition notes of this play and others I have read, I think, are intrusive and not very useful. In contrast, I find that the Folger Shakespeare Library editions of the Shakespeare plays are useful and avoid being too intrusive.

Feb 21, 2015

A bit difficult to understand, but a true classic.

BookReviewer2015 Sep 16, 2014

No Fear Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet! Great for Grade Nine and Intermediate English students as it puts Shakespearean texts into everyday common English.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

Feb 22, 2017

Alanreviews thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

shuying1314 May 06, 2015

shuying1314 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Jul 14, 2014

Horse_Freak_1712 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Red_Cheetah_330 Feb 13, 2013

Red_Cheetah_330 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

adristargirl Jan 02, 2013

adristargirl thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 10, 2012

DaisyCosh thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Apr 21, 2010

Ciresica thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

nadian Mar 28, 2008

nadian thinks this title is suitable for


Add a Summary

olive_bird_01 Jun 13, 2015

Falling in love

Jul 24, 2012

Romeo and Juliet love each other. Their parents are rival families. They can't be together, but fight to stay together anyways.

cindy112judy9915 Jun 12, 2012

i also read the translations of the book. in the beginning it already tells us tat romeo and Juliet commit suicide in the end of the story and i have not yet finished the book. romeo meet Juliet at a mask party but they weren't wearing mask's and they made out on the first day they meet. romeo would sneak out at night to Juliet's balcony and they would talk till the sun rises. the continuing u would have to read yourself, tragedy comes when romeo gets abandon and had to leave and Juliet had to fake his death by drinking a vial but she thinks tat there's poison inside and it would kill him.


Add a Quote

Jul 14, 2014

Oh Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo. Deny thy father and refuse thy name. Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and i'll no longer be a capulet".

Jul 24, 2012

"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 misadventur'd piteous overthrows doth with their death bury their parents' strife. The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love, and the continuance of their parents' rage, which, but their children's end, nought could remove, is now the two hours' traffic of our stage; the which if you with patient ears attend, what here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend."

cindy112judy9915 Jun 12, 2012

O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?


Add Notices

Jul 24, 2012

Violence: Stabbings that result in death; poison is used; suicide.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at MCL

To Top