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Romeo & Juliet: An Early Performance

            One of the favorite plays by William Shakespeare is the tragedy Romeo and Juliet. Although it is about four hundred years old, it is one of the most popular stories ever told. By having the right ingredients, makes it something people even today can relate to: teenagers sharing a forbidden love, funny friends, troubling parents, fights, parties, murder and nights of secret love. Romeo and Juliet tells a lot about the society and times in which it was written. And probably a little bit about the passionate, spirited and witty young man who wrote it. .
             The theme of the play Romeo and Juliet is love and violence and their continuous interactions (Goddard, The Tragedies, p. 27) It is a story of "star-cross"d" lovers. "From forth the fatal loins of these two faces, A pair of star-cross"d lovers take their life, Whose misadventures piteous overthrows Doth with their death bury their parents" strife." (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Prologue, l. 5-8) I think that the theme love is the centralized theme. "Capulet, Montague, See what scourge is laid upon your hate, That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love!" (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act V, sc. III, l. 304-306) With his first sight of Juliet, Romeo is consumed with love. Juliet as well is consumed with the love she has for Romeo. "My bounty is as boundless as the sea, My love as deep; the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite." (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act II, sc. II, l. 141-143) .
             "The reputation of the Elizabethan theatre rest above all on the work of William Shakespeare, perhaps the greatest play write of all time." (Brockett, p.108) The Globe Theater, and open-air playhouse, designed in 1599, was partly owned by Shakespeare. It had three levels that surrounded and uncovered open space called "the yard" or "pit" and was about seventy-four feet in diameter. The stage was about forty-one feet wide, twenty-five feet deep and was between five and six feet high.

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