Skip to main content

Romeo and Juliet Background (Dinh)

Romeo and Juliet Background Research

These sites will help you understand more about the world of William Shakespeare's famous play, Romeo and Juliet. Please look for your name below to find out which sites you will be exploring. 



 A. Elizabethan Era I

(period 4: Nicholas B., Mia W., Alexa S.)

(period 6: Kendall S., Shantel K., Jeany O.)

 Goal: Tell us about England’s political power and what London was like during the Elizabethan Era.

 1.  Shakespeare Resource Center (short)

 2.  National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) (long)

 3.  PBS

 4. Utah Shakes. Festival, Superstition and the supernatural in Shakespeare

 5. Shakespeare Online, What kind of entertainment did Elizabethans enjoy? Did many people like the theater? 


B. Elizabethan Era II

(period 4: Tara P., Paulina W., Wilson W.)

(period 6: Ari C., Joseph D., Eunice K., Ivan L.)

 Goal: Give us a sense of who the Queen was and what life was like under her rule.

1.   Official website of the British Monarchy, Queen Elizabeth I

2.   BBC (short)

3.   Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY), Visual arts in the Elizabethan Era

4.   BBC, Poverty in the Elizabethan Era (not everyone was a Prince or a Queen!)


C. Shakespeare’s Theater I

(period 4: Andrew Y., Jordan M., Turttle C.)

(period 6: Sydney A., Linett G., Shaurya N., Megan C.)

Goal: Transport us to Shakespeare’s theater by detailing what it looked like, who attended, the actors, and the costumes.

1. Shakespeare Resource Center, Globe Theater page (short)

2. Utah Shakespeare Festival, Actors in Shakespeare's time (long)

3. Utah Shakespeare Festival, The Audience in Shakespeare's time (short)

4. Utah Shakespeare Festival, Costumes (short)

5.  Shakespeare Online, Elizabethan Dress (NOTE: This is about what people who lived in Shakespeare's time wore, but not all the people in his plays would have worn these things, since he set some of his plays in other times)

6. From a Wake Forest University librarian's Shakespeare site, Globe page (pictures)


D. Shakespeare’s Theater II

(period 4: Heaven G., Raquel R., Sierra S.)

(period 6: Joseph F., Vivi P., Holli B., Sharmane P.)

Goal: Help us understand Shakespeare’s theater by detailing his staging, concepts of tragedy, and theater terms.

1.     Elements of Theater (long)

2.     Macmillan Reference, Stage Directions (short)

3.     Santa Monica College Theater Dept., Stage Directions/Theater Terms (short)

4.     Cal Poly University, Tragedy

5.     Shakespeare’s Staging (pictures)


E. Shakespeare’s Life I

(period 4: Marissa A., Raven Fabiani-M., Safoora M.)

(period 6: Amanda S., Melany Ricardo C., Shreya H., Mathew C.)

Goal: Where and when was Shakespeare born? How did he become famous? Who were the important people in his life?

1.  Shakespear - History of the Globe

2.  PBS, Shakespeare's hometown  (very short)

3.  PBS, Important people in Shakespeare's life (click on the names of the people):

4.  PBS, Events in Shakespeare's life (short)

 5. Shakespeare Online (long--multiple links)


F. Shakespeare’s Works

(period 4: Mitch A., Tara L., Natasha E., Mya M.)

(period 6: Fiza Y., Xingyu Z., Shreya M., Rachel M.)

Goal: What else did Shakespeare write, besides Romeo & Juliet? Were his facts accurate? Teach us about his sonnets as well.

1. Folger Shakespeare Library (click on the links to the left)

2. Utah Shakespeare Festival, Were Shakespeare's historical facts accurate? (short)

3.  What is a sonnet? How are Shakespeare's different from other people's sonnets, notably the Petrarchan sonnet, which was the established form before Shakespeare?

4.   Iambic pentameter (normally is not a great research source, but this article's author is a theater expert):



 G.    The Authorship Debate

(period 4: Kim L., Nallely Z., Alexandra H.)

(period 6: Shea D., Anne Marie D., Sean A., Tiki A.)

Goal: Some people throughout the years have argued that one man, especially one with only an average education, could not have written all of Shakespeare's amazing plays. Could it have been someone else? Whole groups have formed around this debate, like the Oxford Society, which supports the hypothesis that Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, could be the "real" Shakespeare. Other scholars argue that there is a ton of evidence that Shakespeare wrote his own plays, and those who say he didn't are just conspiracy theorists looking for a more exciting story. What do you think?

1.   This article gives an overview of the whole debate but is pro-Shakespeare in the end  (medium length)

2.   This one is similar

3.   Shakespeare Resource Center, "Debates" page   (short)

4.   "The Case for Shakespeare" by Irvin Matus (medium length)

5.   Article by Charlton Ogburn, Jr., Harvard Magazine, November 1974. This cover story stated the case for the Earl of Oxford as the author of Shakespeare's works.  (long)