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English Literature   >   Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet

Three Acts of Comedy, Two of Tragedy

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Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet

In this course, we explore several aspects of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, thinking in particular about the play in performance. In the first module, we think about how Shakespeare manipulates, fuses, and pays with genre, before moving on to think about the Queen Mab speech and Romeo and Juliet’s relationship with A Midsummer Night’s Dream (written at the same time and performed in the same season). After that, we explore the three female characters in the play – Juliet’s mother, Juliet’s nurse, and Juliet herself – before focusing on the mock-death scene (and comparing it to a similar scene in Cymbeline). In the final module, we think about the relevance of the play to modern audiences, exploring five influential and enlightening adaptations of the original play.

Three Acts of Comedy, Two of Tragedy

In this module, we explore the ‘generic engineering’ of Romeo and Juliet – Shakespeare’s deployment of comedic devices in a play that ultimately turns out to be a tragedy.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Lennard, J. (2018, August 15). Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet - Three Acts of Comedy, Two of Tragedy [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Lennard, J. "Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet – Three Acts of Comedy, Two of Tragedy." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,


Prof. John Lennard

Prof. John Lennard

Independent Scholar