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p. 223. Romeo and Julietlocked

  • Stanley Wells

Abstract

The story of the ‘star-crossed lovers’ was already popular when Shakespeare wrote his play, around 1595, basing its narrative fairly closely on a long poem by Arthur Brooke. The difference between Titus Andronicus and Romeo and Juliet, written only a few years apart, is a measure of the speed of Shakespeare’s development as both a dramatist and a poet, and of the openness of his concept of tragedy, which in this play permits the inclusion of romance and of many comic elements. ‘Romeo and Juliet’ outlines the play’s plot and structure, and explains how the play’s scenario is cunningly devised so that it incorporates a variety of theatrical entertainment.

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