• Reading Levels 3 - 5

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet is quite possibly the most famous play of all time. Its tale of two innocent, star-crossed lovers sacrificed for the vices of their parents is unlikely to ever lose its relevance. Its themes, after all, are universal: first love torn apart by bitter hate, warring communities and tragic loss. Based on an old Italian tale The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet from 1562, Shakespeare's tribute transformed the source material into an ageless symbol. It has inspired innumerableToo many to be counted. modernised retellings, many of which transplant the tale into contemporary conflicts — including one 1994 production which depicted Juliet as Israeli and Romeo as Palestinian, and another which staged the play in apartheidA system of legally-enshrined racial discrimination and oppression which existed in South Africa from 1948 until the 1990s. It denied non-white South Africans basic human rights.-era South Africa. But it is memorable not only for its devastatingly-rendered tale of love defeated: its comic elements, colourful personalities and beautiful poetic form are just some of the other elements that make this play compulsively and universally renowned.

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