A rich collection of commentary and primary documents that will enhance the reader's understanding of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
Gr 10 Up-Hager begins his analysis of the well-known play by touching on such concepts as love, vendetta, and contrariety (a juxtaposition of opposing ideas). He then explores the background of the play, narrative influences (such as the Greek story of Pyramus and Thisbe and Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde), the primary narrative source (Arthur Brooke's The Tragedy of Romeus and Juliet), and lyrical sources such as the poetry of Philip Sidney. The second half of the book looks at the performance history of the play, its historical context, and 1990s interpretations and analogies. Each chapter ends with a section of study questions, discussion or research topics, and a bibliography. There is a substantial glossary. While the book contains many nuggets of useful information and a glimpse at several original sources, it is not easy to use and many discussions require previous knowledge of the subject. The prose is often rambling, the organization tends to be muddy, and some of the material is either arcane or irrelevant (the reprint of a puff piece on Claire Danes, who played Juliet in Baz Luhrmann's film William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, for example). As a tool for reports, Hager's book lacks the focus and clarity of Don Nardo's Readings on Romeo and Juliet (Greenhaven, 1997). An additional choice for larger collections.-Sally Margolis, Barton Public Library, VT Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|