Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet

Staged: the origins of YA’s greatest tropes

Summary

‘For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo’


A bloody feud. A tangled love. A senseless tragedy that brings two families to their knees.

After a chance meeting at a ball, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet fall desperately in love. But their families are locked in a bitter rivalry, their love forbidden. Worse still, Juliet’s family already expect her to marry her suitor, Count Paris.


Determined to save their love, Romeo and Juliet wed in secret. But when a fight erupts that leaves Montagues and Capulets dead, Romeo is banished from Verona, forcing Juliet to take desperate measures that spell tragedy for the star-crossed lovers.


Romeo and Juliet is Shakespeare’s masterclass in tales of love and loss, and the origin of the lovestruck, star-crossed lovers.


Discover STAGED, a limited collection of Shakespeare’s unabridged plays that celebrates the genius of the Bard and the tropes that continue to delight YA readers to this day.


Explore the rest of the STAGED collection:

As You Like It – With a foreword by Talia Hibbert

Hamlet – With a foreword by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Macbeth – With a foreword by Kat Delacorte

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – With a foreword by Becky Albertalli

Much Ado About Nothing – With a foreword by Holly Bourne

About the author

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, and was baptised on 26 April 1564. His father was a glove maker and wool merchant and his mother, Mary Arden, was the daughter of a well-to-do local land owner. Shakespeare was probably educated in Stratford’s grammar school. In 1582 he married Anne Hathaway, and the couple had a daughter the following year and twins in 1585.

Shakespeare’s theatrical life seems to have commenced around 1590. We do know that he was part of the Lord Chamberlain’s Company, which was renamed the King’s Company in 1603 when James I succeeded to the throne. The Company acquired interests in two theatres in the Southwark area of London, near the banks of the Thames - the Globe and the Blackfriars.

Shakespeare’s poetry was published before his plays, with two poems appearing in 1593 and 1594, dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton. Most of Shakespeare’s sonnets were probably written at this time as well.

Records of Shakespeare’s plays begin to appear in 1594, and he produced roughly two a year until around 1611. His earliest plays include Henry VI and Titus Andronicus. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice and Richard II all date from the mid to late 1590s. Some of his most famous tragedies were written in the early 1600s; these include Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth and Antony & Cleopatra. His late plays, often known as the Romances, date from 1608 onwards and include The Tempest.

Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616 and was buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. The first collected edition of his works was published in 1623 and is known as ‘the First Folio’.
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