Romeo and Juliet by William ShakespeareRomeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet

byWilliam ShakespeareEditorDr. Barbara A. Mowat, Paul Werstine

Mass Market Paperback | January 1, 2004

about

In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare creates a violent world, in which two young people fall in love. It is not simply that their families disapprove; the Montagues and the Capulets are engaged in a blood feud.

In this death-filled setting, the movement from love at first sight to the lovers’ final union in death seems almost inevitable. And yet, this play set in an extraordinary world has become the quintessential story of young love. In part because of its exquisite language, it is easy to respond as if it were about all young lovers.

The authoritative edition of Romeo and Juliet from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:

-Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play
-Newly revised explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play
-Scene-by-scene plot summaries
-A key to the play’s famous lines and phrases
-An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language
-An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play
-Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books
-An up-to-date annotated guide to further reading

Essay by Gail Kern Paster

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit Folger.edu.
William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Gra...
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Title:Romeo and JulietFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 6.75 × 4.19 × 0.9 inPublished:January 1, 2004Publisher:Simon & SchusterLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0743477111

ISBN - 13:9780743477116

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from helpful!!!! not the best book but having the translation is always helpful
Date published: 2017-10-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Tragic This novel is definitely not the best, but I think we can all admit Shakespeare is an excellent writer for his time. Personally I think the whole concept of falling in love within a day as well as killing yourself because the person you met like a day ago is dead. Regardless of this, the message that no one else should let someone chose who they love and regardless of social status this shouldn't matter is definitely a good message
Date published: 2017-09-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! You need to read this book for its poetic language of love not actually its plot!
Date published: 2017-08-31
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Boring and cheesy as hell im so sorry I fell asleep during class reading this it was honestly torture. If you like to be attached to characters and relate to them, I wouldn't recommend this. I think its also because there are so many ways to interpret the meaning of the play and that is what bored me
Date published: 2017-08-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good for School I bought this for school in grade 9 and it was super helpful. The play itself is meh. I really like the No Fear Shakespeare books.
Date published: 2017-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Romeo and Juliet While I don’t find this romantic, and I’m not sure we’re meant to anyway, it’s a page-turner of a story. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-08-19
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not great there are much better love stories out there
Date published: 2017-07-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Mediocre Although so well know, this is one of Shakespeare's less intriguing works. Especially in comparison to "Hamlet".
Date published: 2017-07-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love! Classic read! I love Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet is not my favorite but it's still amazing!
Date published: 2017-07-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Tool This is a great adapted version of Romeo and Juliet that I use in my classroom for students who have difficulties understanding Shakespearean language. I love that there is modern English on one side of the page and the original text on the other side of the page.
Date published: 2017-07-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from I read it. I can't say much more about it then: I read it. It's okay. You should probably read it just to understand when other media makes reference to it but honestly, not the best play in the world.
Date published: 2017-07-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fav One of my favourite plays, really enjoyed it. love the dialogue
Date published: 2017-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favourite Shakespeare play Honestly as cheesy as it sounds, Romeo and Juliet is one of my favourite plays because of how romantic it is, granted even though the ending is kind of morbid. Shakespeare never fails to mix humor with serious topics and no matter how serious a situation might be it always includes a sense of lightness to it. I think I read this play in 1 sitting and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Date published: 2017-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Story Many people hate this play because the main characters make a series of decisions that do not make a great level of sense and result in a negative outcome. However, the purpose of the play is to demonstrate that love is a raw emotion that is all consuming and destructive force, that if properly nurtured can lead to true happiness. Additionally, Shakespeare is able to mix tragedy and comedy beautifully.
Date published: 2017-05-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Super Classic Read Just the regular classic Romeo and Juliet. Meh... Although the modern day movie is pretty funny.
Date published: 2017-05-06
Rated 2 out of 5 by from It was ok... I thought this was going to be great but it was actually a disappointment. Like it just doesn't make sense...
Date published: 2017-05-03
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Forget It I never liked this book and its story of star-crossed lovers. The characters just make one bad decision after another. The ending is stupid and terrible. Romeo and Juliet kill themselves. That really solves a lot. There are better Shakespeare plays to read.
Date published: 2017-04-08
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Least favourite shakespeare I definitely did not enjoy this in high school and I did not enjoy it now. Just reminded me of an ill-fated Twilight. Even though I read R&J before Twilight
Date published: 2017-04-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it Loved it when I read this in high school. A cute read, and predictable
Date published: 2017-03-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A simple sweet love story Nothing special but quite sweet showing how feuds can outlast love and even death and how two people can create romance. Recommended
Date published: 2017-03-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love You have to enjoy Shakespeare, and if you do, this is the best read!
Date published: 2017-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best love story ever! I highly recommend this book. It was one of my favourite books in high school and still is to this day. The love story in it is one of the best love stories to this day
Date published: 2017-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it I love reading shakespeare and loved romeo and juliet. Highly recommend for high school students.
Date published: 2017-03-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from WHY Every character in this book makes dumb decisions and it drove me insane trying to get through it!
Date published: 2017-02-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good story with dumb characters Like my title reads, the story could've turned out very good if there was more character development... but the characters are so contrived and stubborn that they just stick to their own beliefs all throughout the book and thus creating issues that were note even suppose to happen in the first place
Date published: 2017-02-22
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not as Romantic as you Think Disappointment and so much anger for these foolish characters
Date published: 2017-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic The most classic love story of all time!
Date published: 2017-01-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Classic Romance Novel Was not as romantic as it's suppose to be.
Date published: 2017-01-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Must read classic Though I think this play is a little too hyped up/over used in our society, it isn't bad. I think it's one of Shakespeare's better works and I had a good time reading it. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay I enjoyed this book thoroughly but would not read again.
Date published: 2017-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved it! This is one of my favorites of Shakespeare, I have read this 4 times and it never gets old. It highly recommended.
Date published: 2017-01-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Classic Read it for an English class.
Date published: 2017-01-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Brilliant A great tale though a bit overrated
Date published: 2017-01-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good but... This is a good read, but we all go into it knowing the ending.
Date published: 2017-01-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Classic I know this book is a classic but not a fan at all. It took me too much time to finish; it was a hard read. A very nice storyline but totally overrated.
Date published: 2017-01-13
Rated 1 out of 5 by from A classic but this edition isn't good Romeo and Juliet is a classic, however this edition is not. Go for the Oxford Classics Edition it is much higher quality
Date published: 2017-01-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Useful This was helpful in my understanding of Romeo and Juliet, but it is by far not my favourite book.
Date published: 2017-01-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Read Helped me understand the play more, however I like King Lear story line better. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This is a great book. I have read this book long times ago. This is a great book.
Date published: 2017-01-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good A classic and a fairly easy introduction into Shakespeare.
Date published: 2017-01-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good study helper This particular version of the story is quite a nice helper for those who are currently reading this story for school.
Date published: 2016-12-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Helpful This helped me understand the play a lot more.
Date published: 2016-12-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very helpful This book really helped me when I was studying Romeo and Juliet. Without the modern English translation or the side notes that helped me understand jokes or references, I would be completely lost.
Date published: 2016-12-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Overrated You'd probably only read this for high school English class. I get it, this was the foundation and influence of many other great works in literature but the story itself is quite simple and in my opinion, does not live up to its hype.
Date published: 2016-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE THIS BOOK - HELPED ME A LOT I recommend this book for anyone who has struggled with understanding Romeo and Juliet, as it give a great translation for better understanding and it includes some caption that explans what is happening
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good starter This is the perfect play to start with when being introduced to Shakespeare... its easy to follow and get use to the language used
Date published: 2016-12-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Classic Classic must read love story - might take some time to read though... #plumreview
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Writing This play contains some of S most poetic and beautiful writing - Queen Mab alone takes the cake. Sure the plot's a bit far-fetched, but most drama is. One of S's best for sure.
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Writing This play contains some of S most poetic and beautiful writing - Queen Mab alone takes the cake. Sure the plot's a bit far-fetched, but most drama is. One of S's best for sure.
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Writing This play contains some of S most poetic and beautiful writing - Queen Mab alone takes the cake. Sure the plot's a bit far-fetched, but most drama is. One of S's best for sure.
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Didn't enjoy it We read this in 9th grade. It was a tragedy but I dislike this play. I like the book cover and the illustrations though. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love It Althougb Romeo and Juliet were teenagers, the tragedy was really saddening to read. The book really helps you to gain a better understanding of the characters and the line by line translation gave me the play in English, which was really helpful.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Seriously Is this S's best play? I think so, at least for language and poetry. Lear is more tragic, Hamlet more sophisticated, Macbeth is more intense, but this is ... beyond words.
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful book!! I enjoyed reading this book even though it has a tragic ending.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic of classics A classic book; I know we are all forced to read it in school, now time to read it on your own!
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from love this im abou to buy this so ;)
Date published: 2015-07-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great! This is truly amazing ! I loved every second of this! it was amazing and It is truly one of the best love stories ever told!
Date published: 2012-04-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Graphic Adaptation, True to the Original Reason for Reading: Honestly, I hate Romeo & Juliet; I think it is the stupidest love story ever written, but I won't go into my views on that here. I read this adaptation solely because I was sent a review copy. I've read the play and seen it performed at Stratford Festival so am very familiar with the story and I found this to be a very well-written adaptation, true to the original. Written in modern English, which is how I prefer my Shakespeare. The story is very easy to read and unlike any other Campfire Classics I've read to date, this one had the occasional asterix to explain a perhaps uncommon word. The cover art is very pretty but not representational of the inside art which is illustrated as realistic 16th century Italian life. Well done and attractive. The book begins with a brief bio. of Shakespeare and a cast of main characters page and ends with a two-page spread of did-you-know type facts about Shakespeare, in general, and this play in particular. This is a perfect introduction to the play.
Date published: 2011-08-05
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Meh..over rated Everyone is suppose to love Romeo and Juliet. I get it they are two star-crossed lovers. Personally I thought Romeo was a cry-baby. And at 13 can you really know true love?
Date published: 2011-05-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from woooowww this is the best book everrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
Date published: 2009-02-18

Read from the Book

Shakespeare's LifeSurviving documents that give us glimpses into the life of William Shakespeare show us a playwright, poet, and actor who grew up in the market town of Stratford-upon-Avon, spent his professional life in London, and returned to Stratford a wealthy landowner. He was born in April 1564, died in April 1616, and is buried inside the chancel of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford.We wish we could know more about the life of the world's greatest dramatist. His plays and poems are testaments to his wide reading -- especially to his knowledge of Virgil, Ovid, Plutarch, Holinshed's Chronicles, and the Bible -- and to his mastery of the English language, but we can only speculate about his education. We know that the King's New School in Stratford-upon-Avon was considered excellent. The school was one of the English "grammar schools" established to educate young men, primarily in Latin grammar and literature. As in other schools of the time, students began their studies at the age of four or five in the attached "petty school," and there learned to read and write in English, studying primarily the catechism from the Book of Common Prayer. After two years in the petty school, students entered the lower form (grade) of the grammar school, where they began the serious study of Latin grammar and Latin texts that would occupy most of the remainder of their school days. (Several Latin texts that Shakespeare used repeatedly in writing his plays and poems were texts that schoolboys memorized and recited.) Latin comedies were introduced early in the lower form; in the upper form, which the boys entered at age ten or eleven, students wrote their own Latin orations and declamations, studied Latin historians and rhetoricians, and began the study of Greek using the Greek New Testament.Since the records of the Stratford "grammar school" do not survive, we cannot prove that William Shakespeare attended the school; however, every indication (his father's position as an alderman and bailiff of Stratford, the playwright's own knowledge of the Latin classics, scenes in the plays that recall grammar-school experiences -- for example, The Merry Wives of Windsor, 4.1) suggests that he did. We also lack generally accepted documentation about Shakespeare's life after his schooling ended and his professional life in London began. His marriage in 1582 (at age eighteen) to Anne Hathaway and the subsequent births of his daughter Susanna (1583) and the twins Judith and Hamnet (1585) are recorded, but how he supported himself and where he lived are not known. Nor do we know when and why he left Stratford for the London theatrical world, nor how he rose to be the important figure in that world that he had become by the early 1590s.We do know that by 1592 he had achieved some prominence in London as both an actor and a playwright. In that year was published a book by the playwright Robert Greene attacking an actor who had the audacity to write blank-verse drama and who was "in his own conceit [i.e., opinion] the only Shake-scene in a country." Since Greene's attack includes a parody of a line from one of Shakespeare's early plays, there is little doubt that it is Shakespeare to whom he refers, a "Shake-scene" who had aroused Greene's fury by successfully competing with university-educated dramatists like Greene himself. It was in 1593 that Shakespeare became a published poet. In that year he published his long narrative poem Venus and Adonis; in 1594, he followed it with The Rape of Lucrece. Both poems were dedicated to the young earl of Southampton (Henry Wriothesley), who may have become Shakespeare's patron.It seems no coincidence that Shakespeare wrote these narrative poems at a time when the theaters were closed because of the plague, a contagious epidemic disease that devastated the population of London. When the theaters reopened in 1594, Shakespeare apparently resumed his double career of actor and playwright and began his long (and seemingly profitable) service as an acting-company shareholder. Records for December of 1594 show him to be a leading member of the Lord Chamberlain's Men. It was this company of actors, later named the King's Men, for whom he would be a principal actor, dramatist, and shareholder for the rest of his career.So far as we can tell, that career spanned about twenty years. In the 1590s, he wrote his plays on English history as well as several comedies and at least two tragedies (Titus Andronicus and Romeo and Juliet). These histories, comedies, and tragedies are the plays credited to him in 1598 in a work, Palladis Tamia, that in one chapter compares English writers with "Greek, Latin, and Italian Poets." There the author, Francis Meres, claims that Shakespeare is comparable to the Latin dramatists Seneca for tragedy and Plautus for comedy, and calls him "the most excellent in both kinds for the stage." He also names him "Mellifluous and honey-tongued Shakespeare": "I say," writes Meres, "that the Muses would speak with Shakespeare's fine filed phrase, if they would speak English." Since Meres also mentions Shakespeare's "sugared sonnets among his private friends," it is assumed that many of Shakespeare's sonnets (not published until 1609) were also written in the 1590s.In 1599, Shakespeare's company built a theater for themselves across the river from London, naming it the Globe. The plays that are considered by many to be Shakespeare's major tragedies (Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth) were written while the company was resident in this theater, as were such comedies as Twelfth Night and Measure for Measure. Many of Shakespeare's plays were performed at court (both for Queen Elizabeth I and, after her death in 1603, for King James I), some were presented at the Inns of Court (the residences of London's legal societies), and some were doubtless performed in other towns, at the universities, and at great houses when the King's Men went on tour; otherwise, his plays from 1599 to 1608 were, so far as we know, performed only at the Globe. Between 1608 and 1612, Shakespeare wrote several plays -- among them The Winter's Tale and The Tempest -- presumably for the company's new indoor Blackfriars theater, though the plays seem to have been performed also at the Globe and at court. Surviving documents describe a performance of The Winter's Tale in 1611 at the Globe, for example, and performances of The Tempest in 1611 and 1613 at the royal palace of Whitehall.Shakespeare wrote very little after 1612, the year in which he probably wrote King Henry VIII. (It was at a performance of Henry VIII in 1613 that the Globe caught fire and burned to the ground.) Sometime between 1610 and 1613 he seems to have returned to live in Stratford-upon-Avon, where he owned a large house and considerable property, and where his wife and his two daughters and their husbands lived. (His son Hamnet had died in 1596.) During his professional years in London, Shakespeare had presumably derived income from the acting company's profits as well as from his own career as an actor, from the sale of his play manuscripts to the acting company, and, after 1599, from his shares as an owner of the Globe. It was presumably that income, carefully invested in land and other property, which made him the wealthy man that surviving documents show him to have become. It is also assumed that William Shakespeare's growing wealth and reputation played some part in inclining the crown, in 1596, to grant John Shakespeare, William's father, the coat of arms that he had so long sought. William Shakespeare died in Stratford on April 23, 1616 (according to the epitaph carved under his bust in Holy Trinity Church) and was buried on April 25. Seven years after his death, his collected plays were published as Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies (the work now known as the First Folio).The years in which Shakespeare wrote were among the most exciting in English history. Intellectually, the discovery, translation, and printing of Greek and Roman classics were making available a set of works and worldviews that interacted complexly with Christian texts and beliefs. The result was a questioning, a vital intellectual ferment, that provided energy for the period's amazing dramatic and literary output and that fed directly into Shakespeare's plays. The Ghost in Hamlet, for example, is wonderfully complicated in part because he is a figure from Roman tragedy -- the spirit of the dead returning to seek revenge -- who at the same time inhabits a Christian hell (or purgatory); Hamlet's description of humankind reflects at one moment the Neoplatonic wonderment at mankind ("What a piece of work is a man!") and, at the next, the Christian disparagement of human sinners ("And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?").As intellectual horizons expanded, so also did geographical and cosmological horizons. New worlds -- both North and South America -- were explored, and in them were found human beings who lived and worshiped in ways radically different from those of Renaissance Europeans and Englishmen. The universe during these years also seemed to shift and expand. Copernicus had earlier theorized that the earth was not the center of the cosmos but revolved as a planet around the sun. Galileo's telescope, created in 1609, allowed scientists to see that Copernicus had been correct; the universe was not organized with the earth at the center, nor was it so nicely circumscribed as people had, until that time, thought. In terms of expanding horizons, the impact of these discoveries on people's beliefs -- religious, scientific, and philosophical -- cannot be overstated.London, too, rapidly expanded and changed during the years (from the early 1590s to around 1610) that Shakespeare lived there. London -- the center of England's government, its economy, its royal court, its overseas trade -- was, during these years, becoming an exciting metropolis, drawing to it thousands of new citizens every year. Troubled by overcrowding, by poverty, by recurring epidemics of the plague, London was also a mecca for the wealthy and the aristocratic, and for those who sought advancement at court, or power in government or finance or trade. One hears in Shakespeare's plays the voices of London -- the struggles for power, the fear of venereal disease, the language of buying and selling. One hears as well the voices of Stratford-upon-Avon -- references to the nearby Forest of Arden, to sheepherding, to small-town gossip, to village fairs and markets. Part of the richness of Shakespeare's work is the influence felt there of the various worlds in which he lived: the world of metropolitan London, the world of small-town and rural England, the world of the theater, and the worlds of craftsmen and shepherds.That Shakespeare inhabited such worlds we know from surviving London and Stratford documents, as well as from the evidence of the plays and poems themselves. From such records we can sketch the dramatist's life. We know from his works that he was a voracious reader. We know from legal and business documents that he was a multifaceted theater man who became a wealthy landowner. We know a bit about his family life and a fair amount about his legal and financial dealings. Most scholars today depend upon such evidence as they draw their picture of the world's greatest playwright. Such, however, has not always been the case. Until the late eighteenth century, the William Shakespeare who lived in most biographies was the creation of legend and tradition. This was the Shakespeare who was supposedly caught poaching deer at Charlecote, the estate of Sir Thomas Lucy close by Stratford; this was the Shakespeare who fled from Sir Thomas's vengeance and made his way in London by taking care of horses outside a playhouse; this was the Shakespeare who reportedly could barely read but whose natural gifts were extraordinary, whose father was a butcher who allowed his gifted son sometimes to help in the butcher shop, where William supposedly killed calves "in a high style," making a speech for the occasion. It was this legendary William Shakespeare whose Falstaff (in 1 and 2 Henry IV) so pleased Queen Elizabeth that she demanded a play about Falstaff in love, and demanded that it be written in fourteen days (hence the existence of The Merry Wives of Windsor). It was this legendary Shakespeare who reached the top of his acting career in the roles of the Ghost in Hamlet and old Adam in As You Like It -- and who died of a fever contracted by drinking too hard at "a merry meeting" with the poets Michael Drayton and Ben Jonson. This legendary Shakespeare is a rambunctious, undisciplined man, as attractively "wild" as his plays were seen by earlier generations to be. Unfortunately, there is no trace of evidence to support these wonderful stories.Perhaps in response to the disreputable Shakespeare of legend -- or perhaps in response to the fragmentary and, for some, all-too-ordinary Shakespeare documented by surviving records -- some people since the mid-nineteenth century have argued that William Shakespeare could not have written the plays that bear his name. These persons have put forward some dozen names as more likely authors, among them Queen Elizabeth, Sir Francis Bacon, Edward de Vere (earl of Oxford), and Christopher Marlowe. Such attempts to find what for these people is a more believable author of the plays is a tribute to the regard in which the plays are held. Unfortunately for their claims, the documents that exist that provide evidence for the facts of Shakespeare's life tie him inextricably to the body of plays and poems that bear his name. Unlikely as it seems to those who want the works to have been written by an aristocrat, a university graduate, or an "important" person, the plays and poems seem clearly to have been produced by a man from Stratford-upon-Avon with a very good "grammar-school" education and a life of experience in London and in the world of the London theater. How this particular man produced the works that dominate the cultures of much of the world almost four hundred years after his death is one of life's mysteries -- and one that will continue to tease our imaginations as we continue to delight in his plays and poems.Copyright © 2003 by The Folger Shakespeare Library