Introduction to Romeo and Juliet

What does the writer believe to be the power of poetry when compared to prose? More can be expressed in poetry
How can the Shakespeare Made Easy series be a “key…for what has been a locked door to many students in the past”? It is easier to understand
Who has complete understanding of Shakespeare’s plays? Nobody (except for Shakespeare!)
What metaphor does the author use to describe “Shakespeare appreciation” for “everyone”? He compares it to a journey
Where was Shakespeare born? Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire
When was Shakespeare born? April 23, 1564
Whom did he marry? Ann Hathaway
How many children did Shakespeare have? 3
What was his son’s name? Hamnet
By what year was he a playwright and actor in London? 1592
What was the name of the first theater in London? The Theatre
What was the name of Shakespeare’s first acting company? The Lord Chamberlain’s Men
What was Shakespeare’s first acting company renamed to in 1603? The King’s Men
After whom was The King’s Men named after? King James I
Who had been the monarch before? Queen Elizabeth I
What was the name of the theater Shakespeare’s company built? The Globe
Why did Shakespeare refer to it as “this wooden O”? It was circular
What was the name of the indoor theater Shakespeare and his company purchased? The Blackfriars
Approximately how many plays did Shakespeare write? 37
When did he die? April 23, 1616
How old was he? 52
How many of Shakespeare’s plays do we have in the form he originally wrote them? None!
What did Elizabethans think about plays in general? They thought plays were not literature or good reading matter
Why might some versions of Romeo and Juliet differ from others? Misprints
What is a Quarto? A size of book page resulting from folding each printed sheet into four leaves (8 pages)
What is a Folio? A half of the standard page size
Why were the theaters usually built outside the city? To avoid contact with the authorities
Approximately how many people could the Globe hold? 2,000-3,000 people
Why were plays in the Globe performed only in daylight and during good weather? There was not a roof, so the audience was exposed to the weather
What were “groundlings”?
How much did they pay to see a play? 1 cent – equivalent to about 60 cents today
What were the costumes like? They were expensive and fancy
Describe the actors. Only males, 25 actors, 1/2 were shareholders
What was the scenery like? No scenery
Describe the key features of the stage. Trapdoor, tiring house, no front curtain
What is the type of poetry Shakespeare uses most in his plays? Blank verse
What is the two-word term that describes the rhythm of each line? Iambic pentameter
What “most distinguishes” Shakespeare’s poetry from “that of lesser playwrights”? Poetic imagery
When does Shakespeare usually use prose? For servants, clowns, commoners, and pedestrian matters such as lists, messages, and letters
When was Romeo and Juliet probably written and first acted? 1595
Where did the raw material come from for the play? Brooke poem
What kinds of changes did Shakespeare make? New characters were invented or developed, action is compressed, lyrical and emotional intensity
The “bad” or “pirated” Quarto was probably compiled from what sources? Actors’ parts, notes of speed writers who attended performances, and passages reconstructed from memory
What kinds of decisions do modern editors of Romeo and Juliet (and other Shakespearean plays) have to make? Whether to print certain passages as prose or verse, whether to choose this word rather than that, whether to delete, correct, or ignore what appear to be printers’ errors or misunderstandings

You Might Also Like