Historical Context in Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare based the story of Romeo and Juliet on “The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet,” a narrative poem written by Arthur Brooke in 1562. Brooke’s poem was, in turn, adapted from a novella by Matteo Bandello, making Romeo and Juliet one of four Shakespeare plays based on Bandello’s work (Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, Cymbeline). Bandello adapted the story from Luigi da Porto’s 1524 novella Giulietta e Romeo, which was adapted from a 15th century play by Masuccio Salernitano. The literary history of the Montague and Capulet families goes back to the Divine Comedy, in which Dante condemns the “Montecchi” and the “Cappelletti” families for feuding and disrupting the peace. The events of the story are also generally dated to beginning of the 14th century when Dante was writing. Though Romeo and Juliet was first published in 1623, Shakespeare likely wrote and produced the play in the early 1590s.
Historical Context Examples in Romeo and Juliet:
Act I - Scene I🔒
Act I - Scene III🔒
Act I - Scene IV🔒
Act II - Scene IV🔒
" if our wits run the wild-goose chase, I am done; for thou hast more of the wild goose in one of thy wits than, I am sure, I have in my whole five. ..." See in text (Act II - Scene IV)