How does this Shakespeare text appeal to a 21st century audience?Such as values/themes, techniques and characterisation Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Indubitably, the beauty of the language of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is unsurpassed by any others written by the Bard as the entire play is a poem.  As such, the verse is so poetic and lovely that audiences throughout time have enjoyed its beautiful expression of human passion and love that is eternally fresh and creative. Who cannot cite passages endeared to them such as the following expression of courtly love by Romeo who is so enamored of Juliet that he would delight in simply being a glove upon her lovely hand:

See how she leans her cheek upon her hand!

Oh, that I were a glove upon that hand,

That I might touch that cheek! 

Added to this enjoyment of the poetic beauty of Romeo and Juliet is the natural inclination of readers to enjoy a love story.  Certainly, many a younger reader delights in the romanticism of this drama in which an impassioned Romeo and Juliet love each other so much that they are willing to forsake their own names in order to marry each other.  Likewise, the older reader, too, delights in the impassioned characterization of the young lovers, perhaps recalling his or her own youth that felt much the same exuberance of emotion.  Indeed, it is the idealization of love that so enthralls readers and its splendidly poetic expression that delights them, no matter what the age.

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Romeo and Juliet

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