3 – Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare


In my humble opinion the text of Romeo and Juliet is the greatest love story ever written. To my students it’s just the tale of two frustrated kids who would have both survived if they’d had Facebook.

I know that there is very little that can be said about Romeo and Juliet that hasn’t already been spouted by a bunch of academics as well as generations of spotty GCSE students. This play is timeless, it is still relevant in 2017 and features some of the most beautiful lines of poetry in the English language.

Some Shakespeare fanatics will argue that he wrote better plays. Maybe. I can see the appeal of Hamlet, King Lear or parts of Richard III. Real hard-core Shakespeare bods will tell me that I should have picked Henry IV, Part 1, Coriolanus or Titus Andronicus. Do you know what I say to them? Nothing because I’m too busy biting my thumb in their direction right now.

What I love about Romeo and Juliet is that it’s a Shakespeare play that’s got it all. It’s a love story. It’s a tale of friendship, loyalty, conflict and fate. Some might even argue that it’s Shakespeare’s attempt at an Elizabethan Rom-com.

Forget the city of Paris, I say honeymoon in Verona with your loved-one instead. Go to the balcony that was said to have inspired the story. You can climb the stairs and stand on it, whilst your better half stays outside and looks up longingly in your direction.

I know some of you will be quick to tell me that Romeo and Juliet doesn’t count as a book in the same way that a tomato isn’t really a vegetable. Well I say a plague o’ both your houses you whining mammet!



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