Arden Shakespeares new critical edition of Romeo and Juliet the long-time favourite of the student of Shakespeare from classroom to university lecture theatre is at once carefully learned and calculatedly accessible. This edition, published in 2012, follows the previous years The Tempest, and precedes the current re-working of Coriolanus in Arden Shakespeares third series.
Romeo and Juliet is skilfully re-examined by René Weis, of University College London, who wastes no time in fixing attention on the familial details Shakespeare leaves his readers about his tragic heroine Juliet. Weiss argument is compelling, leaving the reader in no doubt of the vitality and value of the 13-year-old girl who monopolises half of the titular credits in this tragedy. It is for her that the metaphors of heaven and earth, light and darkness are conflated; for the brightness of her eyes that the two realms compete; and for her that Romeo amends his artificial love rhetoric.