Romeo and Juliet: Effects of Censorship

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Romeo and Juliet has always been one of Shakespeare's most popular plays (Bryant xxiii) "This play, like Shakespeare's other works, is a tribute to his discernment of the human soul" (Lipson and Lipson 1). The Elizabethan people of that time saw in the drama a reflection of their own life and experience. It’s appearance, then, was human rather than analytical or educational. "Romeo and Juliet is one of the world's greatest plays because Romeo and Juliet are what Shakespeare has made them" Lipson and Lipson 11). Shakespeare's works depend on language. One of the most important dimensions of Shakespeare's language is imagery. Through the use of metaphors, similes, symbols, passages of heightened natural description, Shakespeare's writing, to a finer degree than other writers of his time, draws much of its life and power from imagery Individual speeches become richer with ranges of meaning and establish verbal patterns to connect characters together Studying the imagery of Shakespeare is an important way in which we can understand the meaning and the beauty of his dramatic art. In Elizabethan times, punning was very popular (which is almost second nature to each character in this play). In a good play, it is said, a style naturally reflects the character of the person speaking even though the same man in two different moods may speak in two different ways (Lipson and Lipson 14). Dramatic irony, or words used to convey a meaning contrary to their literal sense, is also used in several scenes in this Shakespearean play. During the eighteenth and nineteenth century, however, Shakespeare's works were looked at as "immoral classics" (Lamb 3) In 1818, Thomas Bowdler, an English editor, published an edition of Shakespeare's works (Th... ... middle of paper ... ...the reader to see, feel, or know the intensely rich meaning or purpose Shakespeare wanted his work to have. Works Cited Arrangement in Literature. America Reads, Chicago, Illinois: Scott, Foresman and Company, 1979. Barnet, Sylvan, ed. William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, New York, Penguin Books USA Inc., 1986. "Bowdler, Thomas. " The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia, Columbia University Press, 1995. "Bowdler. Thomas," N. Fag. Microsoft Encarta, 1994 Microsoft Corporation, 1994 Funk & Wagnalls Corporation. Bryant, J. A. Jr., Introduction, Romeo and Juliet, New York, Penguin Books USA, Inc., 1986. Lamb, Sidney, ed. Complete Study Edition, Romeo and Juliet: Nebraska, 1965. Lipson, Greta Barclay and Lipson, Susan Solomon, Romeo and Juliet Plainspoken: A Speech-by-Speech Modern Translation, Illinois, 1985.
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