Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

INTRODUCTION

BY

F. J. FURNIVALL, M.A., Ph.D., D.Litt.

ASSISTED BY JOHN MUNRO

ROMEO AND JULIET. -The group of Shaks pere's work in which Romeo and Juliet finds a place is bound together, not by farce or comedy of errors, but by strong passion and by richness of fancy. The love which rises in the Errors and develops in The Two Gentlemen, bursts into full force in Romeo and Juliet. The play gives us that passion lawful in woman and man; Venus and Adonis gives it us unlawful in woman; The Rape of Lucrece unlawful in man; and in Juliet we have the first striking figure of Shaks pere's youthful conception of womanhood. That glorious figure of girlhood, clad in the beauty of the Southern spring, stepping out for scarce two days from the winter of her loveless home into the sunshine and warmth of love, and then sinking into the chill and horrors of the charnel-house and the grave, is one that ever haunts the student of Shakspere. Wander where he will, the Cenci eyes of Juliet are still on him, and draw him to them as with the attraction of a loadstone.

1 The Passion Group : Romeo and Juliet (1591-3), Venus and Adonis (1593), Lucrece (1593-4), part of The Passionate Pilgrim, printed 1599.

« PreviousContinue »