Romeo and Juliet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Why did Shakespeare write Romeo and Juliet?

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Ascertaining an author’s exact intent in writing a book, poem, or play is tricky business. Let’s look at your question from both a pragmatic and figurative perspectives.

The pragmatic response to your question would be that William Shakespeare wrote his tragedy Romeo and Juliet to earn money. By the time he wrote Romeo and Juliet sometime between 1591 and 1596, Shakespeare was a successful actor in his company, Lord Chamberlain’s Men, and a promising playwright. However, the nature of Elizabethan theater meant that new plays needed to be created regularly to continue to bring in an audience. Without new plays, an acting company would quickly go bankrupt. The fact that Shakespeare authored at least 37 plays through a relatively short career (spanning less than two decades) is a testament to the need for regular additions to a theater's repertoire. Shakespeare did not pen his stories for literary fame or glory. He was a businessman who happened to earn his money in the theater business, and...

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