Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is perhaps the most read and beloved of all stage works. Now the most extensively annotated version of the play to date makes it completely accessible to readers in the twenty-first century. The new edition is a rich resource for students, teachers, and the general reader.
Eminent linguist and translator Burton Raffel offers generous help with vocabulary and usage of Elizabethan English, pronunciation, prosody, and alternative readings of phrases and lines. His on-page annotations provide readers with the tools they need to comprehend the play and begin to explore its many possible interpretations. This version of Romeo and Juliet is unparalleled for its thoroughness and adherence to sound linguistic principles.
In his introduction, Raffel provides historical and social contexts that increase the reader's understanding of the play. And in a concluding essay, Harold Bloom argues that Romeo and Juliet is unmatched in the world's literature "as a vision of an uncompromising love that perishes of its own idealism and intensity."
Burton Raffel is professor of arts and humanities emeritus and professor of English emeritus at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Among his many edited and translated publications are Poems and Prose from the Old English, Cliges, Lancelot, Perceval, Erec and Enide, and Yvain, all published by Yale University Press. Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University and Berg Professor of English at New York University, is the author of many books, including The Western Canon, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, and Genius: A Mosaic of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds.