This bibliography includes criticism of the play that mainly focuses on the performance aspects of the play.
Adams, J.C. “Shakespeare’s Use of the Upper Stage in Romeo and
Quarterly 7.2 (1956): 145-152.
Adams rejects the article by Professor Richard Hosley titled, “The Use of the Upper Stage in Romeo and Juliet.” He believes that most of Act III, scene 5 takes place on the upper stage, which is depicted as Juliet’s bedroom.
Cressy, David. Birth, Marriage, and Death: Ritual, Religion, and the Life-Cycle in Tudor and Stuart England. Oxford: Oxford U P, 1997
Colaco, Jill. “The Window Scenes in Romeo and Juliet and Folk
Songs of the Night
Visit.” Studies in Philology 83.2 (1986): 138-157.
The conventions of the window scenes and the night visits are important to the history of the play. Colaco goes on to describe the functions of the conventions.
Davis, Lloyd. “’Death-Marked Love’: Desire and Presence in Romeo
Shakespeare Survey 49 (1996): 57-67.
Knowing that the love of Romeo and Juliet will end in tragedy from the onset of the play, it is how the events of the play lead to the tragedy that is the essence of the play. Davis explores the darkness and deceit connected with desire and love.
Edelman, Charles. “A Note on the Opening Stage Direction of Romeo
and Juliet, I.i.”
Shakespeare Quarterly 39.3 (1988): 361-362.
In the stage direction of this opening scene, Samson and Gregory enter with swords and bucklers, or small shields. However, the serving-men would likely not have carried shields as part of their everyday dress.
Holmer, Joan Ozark. “’Draw if you be men’: Saviolo’s Significance
in Romeo and
Juliet.” Shakespeare Quarterly 45.2 (1994): 163-189.
The fencing material in the play is probably derived from the fencing manual of Saviolo, Vincentio Saviolo his Practise. Salviolo’s ideal view that “condemns male quarrelsomeness as irrational when it pursues personal revenge rather than godly truth and justice” is a source for both tragic and comic elements in the play (189).
Levin, Harry. “Form and Formality in Romeo and Juliet.”
Shakespeare Quarterly 11.1
Levin points to the unconventionality of the play. Such scenes include the eavesdropping of Romeo during Juliet’s “intended soliloquy” on the balcony.
**Nevo, Ruth. “Romeo and Juliet.” Tragic Form in Shakespeare. Princeton: Princeton
In tracing the play’s five-act structure, Nevo finds that Romeo and Juliet displays a continuous unfolding action, based on classical models of tragic form. With the reversal of their fortunes, the lovers move through the stages of tragic awareness to an acceptance of death as an assertion of their freedom and fidelity.
Macfarlane, Alan. Marriage and Love in England: Modes of Reproduction 1300-1840. Oxford: Blackwell, 1986.
Pearlman, E. “Staging Romeo and Juliet: Evidence from Brooke’s
Survey 34.1 (1993): 22-32.
Shakespeare drew from Arthur Brooke’s poem Romeus and Juliet when he wrote the play. Not only did he refer to the poem for the plot of the play, but also for the staging of the play.
**Rabkin, Norman. “Eros and Death.” Shakespeare and the
New York: Free Press, 1967.
Rabkin explores the play’s paradoxical vision: the tragic action confirms the destructive irrationality of the lovers’ passion, but at the same time the conventional logic of restraint and rationality seems impoverished next to the lovers’ intensity. The play, Rabkin finds, articulates the tragic paradox of love itself: a yearning for completion and performance that can be fully satisfied only by death.
**Spurgeon, Caroline F.E. Shakespeare’s Imagery, and What it Tells
Cambridge UP, 1935. 310-316.
Spurgeon traces the dominant imagery in Romeo and Juliet of light in its various forms: sun, moon, stars, lightning, fires, etc. The recurring images transform what might be obvious and conventional similes into a significant pattern of imagery that articulates the tragic action, as the brightness of Romeo and Juliet’s love is suddenly extinguished.
... "Shakespeare's Iterative Imagery" in Aspects of Shakespeare's Being. Oxford: Clarendon P, 1933
Stamm, R. “The First Meeting of the Lovers in Shakespeare’s Romeo
English Studies 67.1 (1986): 2-13.
As one of the “turning points” in the play, this meeting is important not only as a moving sonnet, but also as a “dramatic event.” The actions and gestures in this scene are just as important as the words.
Stone, George W. “Romeo and Juliet: The Source of its Modern
Shakespeare Quarterly 15.2 (1964): 191-206.
Theophilus Cibber’s revival of the play in 1744 probably influenced the notable revival of the play by David Garrick which helped to perpetuate the play into the 19th century.
Tanselle, G. Thomas. “Time in Romeo and Juliet.” Shakespeare
Quarterly 15.4 (1957):
There is great debate as to how many days the play actually encompasses. Tanselle rejects other critics’ estimations. He believes that the play covers four days and he goes through several scenes, pointing out what actions occurred on what day.
Thomson, Leslie. “ ’With patient ears attend’: Romeo and Juliet
on the Elizabethan
Stage.” Studies in Philology 92.2 (1995): 230-247.
The relationship between what the characters say and what they do in certain scenes influences the staging of the play. Thomson pays particular attention to the tomb scene.
Tillyard, E. M. W. The Elizabethan World Picture. New York: Macmillan, 1944
**Citations by David Bevington from:
Shakespeare,William. Romeo and Juliet. Ed. David Bevington. New York: Bantam
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