Why is Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" still interesting to a modern teenage audience?

Essay by jesstaylorA-, August 2005

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William Shakespeare is the grand literary figure of the Western world. During England's Elizabethan period he wrote and directed dozens of plays, which continue to dominate world theatre over four hundred years later. Shakespeare handled high drama, romance and slapstick comedy with equal ease and was known as "the Bard of Avon". He was among the few playwrights who have excelled on both tragedy and comedy and several of his plays contain song that are considered by some to be the finest lyrical poems in English. The English Renaissance has often been called "the age of Shakespeare" among his best know plays are "Hamlet", "MacBeth" and "Romeo and Juliet". He is also known for his poetry, especially his sonnets. So mighty was Shakespeare's output that some of his scholars insist another, greater mind must have written some or all of his plays but this theory has never been proved.

Reader's interests are still extremely similar in today's society as they were while Shakespeare was writing. Shakespeare's works still appeal to us as he used timeless themes in his plays, as do many fictional writers of today's society. However, the theatre in Shakespeare's times was for everybody unlike today where it is looked upon as being quite a highbrow activity. So plays were written to be universally acceptable throughout the classes therefore had to be based upon something everyone could related to.

Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" is about love and hate, faith and fate, friendship, loyalty and betrayal. It reflects on parent/child conflict and gang warfare, all of which is still relevant to us and can be related to by almost everyone. "Romeo and Juliet" remains his most popular early pay. This is partially due to his ability to engage the reader with real life situations that are...