What was William Shakespear's motivation to write Romeo and Juliet?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Romeo and Juliet is fashioned after another, older, and parallel Greek story Pyramus and Thisbee. (I'll let you look up this story for the similarities.) Unrequited love is a common theme in literature, perhaps Romeo and Juliet is the most famous and well-known for this genre of love story.

FYI: These characters also are used in Midsummer's Night dream.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Romeo and Juliet was one of Shakespeare's earlier plays, and although it is a tragedy, it's also a love story which sets it apart somewhat from other tragedies.

Many critics have noted that Romeo and Juliet has some significant departures from standard plays of its time.

So it could have been that Shakespeare wanted to experiment a bit with the form and function of the play, while creating an epic and tragic play with a serious romance-- while also creating an excellent entertainment for theatregoers.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial