This study argues that Romeo and Juliet, perhaps Shakespeare’s most popularly-known play, repays thorough investigation – read afresh, the play is an extraordinary exploration of domestic conflict, social relations and linguistic practice. Drawing upon recent criticism on history and literature, and the rarely-discussed work of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century women critics, Sasha Roberts presents new readings of Romeo and Juliet and its early modern cultural context. Concisely-argued chapters address a wide range of themes – including rival texts, body politics, ethnic identity, adolescence, sexuality, masculinity, relations between women, family dynamics, ritual behaviour, language, bawdy, and the commodification of romantic love – and examine the play’s striking imagery of disease, blood, beds, and wombs. Clearly written, this lively and accessible study of Romeo and Juliet will be of interest to readers both new to and familiar with the play.
Sasha Roberts is Research Fellow at Roehampton Institute London. She has taught Shakespeare to undergraduates in England and the USA and has lectured widely on Shakespeare and Renaissance Culture in the United Kingdom, Europe and America. She has published articles on Shakespeare and English Renaissance literature and art, and in 1996 jointly-edited a major new anthology of women’s Shakespeare criticism, Women Reading Shakespeare, 1660-1900. Sasha Roberts is currently writing a book on reading Shakespeare in early modern England and providing editorial assistance in the preparation of the forthcoming Arden edition of Hamlet.
216 × 138 mm
June 1, 1998
Writers and their Work