Series Editor: Joseph Pearce

Romeo and Juliet cover

Romeo and Juliet

William Shakespeare

261 pp, $5.95. Order Now!

"My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!"

"Star-crossed" Romeo and Juliet are Shakespeare's most famous lovers. A staple of high school reading lists, the tragedy especially resonates with young adult readers who, like Romeo and Juliet, have experienced the exhilarating and perilous phenomenon of being "in love".

Study Guide to Romeo and Juliet

55 pp, $3.95

ICE Study Guides are constructed to aid the reader of ICE classics to achieve a level of critical and literary appreciation befitting the works themselves.

Ideally suited for students themselves and as a guide for teachers, the ICE Study Guides serve as a complement to the treasures of critical appreciation already included in ICE titles.

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Given the tragic ending of the play, what does Shakespeare illustrate about his teen protagonists: Are they the hapless victims of fate, or are they responsible for the poor choices they make? Is their love the "real thing", or is it self-indulgent passion run amok? These are some of the ever relevant questions discussed in this critical edition of Romeo and Juliet.

A look at the essays

  • "Romeo and Juliet on Film" – James Bemis
  • "A Rose by Any Other Name: The Plague of Language in Romeo and Juliet" – Crystal Downing
  • "Why Juliet Makes the Torches to Burn Bright: The Luminous Quality of Beauty" – Richard Harp
  • "The Crossing of Love: Shakespeare's Chiastic Wit in Romeo and Juliet" – Andrew J. Harvey
  • "A Case against Natural Magic: Shakespeare's Friar Lawrence as Romeo and Juliet's Near-Tragic Hero" – Jill Kriegel
  • "Fools for Love? Shakespeare's Qualified Defense of Romeo and Juliet" – Jonathan Marks
  • "Romeo and Juliet and the Petrarchan Love Poetry Tradition" – Rebecca Munro
  • "Romeo and Juliet: The 'True Ground of All These Piteous Woes'" – Stephen Zelnick

Joseph Pearce situates the reader with an introductory essay.

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Meet the Minds behind the Romeo and Juliet Edition


Joseph Pearce

Joseph Pearce

Joseph Pearce is writer in residence at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tennessee, and director of the Aquinas Center for Faith and Culture. He is the editor of the St. Austin Review and the Ignatius Critical Editions series editor. He is the author of three books on Shakespeare, published by Ignatius Press: The Quest for Shakespeare: The Bard of Avon and the Church of Rome (2008), Through Shakespeare's Eyes: Seeing the Catholic Presence in the Plays (2010), and Shakespeare on Love: Seeing the Catholic Presence in Romeo and Juliet (2013). He has also published books on a number of modern literary figures, including Oscar Wilde, G. K. Chesterton, Hilaire Belloc, Roy Campbell, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

Critical Essayists

James Bemis

James Bemis

James Bemis is an editorial board member, weekly columnist, and film critic for California Political Review and is a frequent contributor to Latin Mass Magazine. His five-part series "Through the Eyes of the Church", on the Vatican's list of the forty-five "Most Important Films in the Century of Cinema", was published in the Wanderer. His essays on film adaptations of King Lear, The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth have appeared in the Ignatius Critical Editions of the plays. He is currently writing a book on Christianity, culture, and the cinema.

Crystal Downing

Crystal Downing

Crystal Downing received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is Distinguished Professor of English and Film Studies at Messiah College in Pennsylvania. She has published on a wide variety of literary topics, from Shakespeare to the Brontës, and has won both national and international awards for her essays on film. Her three books explore the relationship between Christianity and poststructuralism: Writing Performances (2004); How Postmodernism Serves (My) Faith (2006); and Changing Signs of Truth (2012).

Richard Harp

Richard Harp is chair of the Department of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and is founding coeditor of the Ben Jonson Journal (Edinburgh University Press), which publishes articles and reviews on all respects of Renaissance literature. He has published The Cambridge Companion to Ben Jonson (Cambridge University Press, 2001) with Stanley Stewart, fellow co-founder of the journal. He has also published books (with Robert Evans) on Frank O'Connor and Brian Friel and articles on other aspects of Irish literature. His article on Father Martin D'Arcy's unpublished literary correspondence was the cover story in the Times Literary Supplement on December 11, 2009.

Andrew J. Harvey

Andrew J. Harvey, associate professor of English, teaches at Grove City College. A scholar of Renaissance and medieval British literature who frequents the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia, as well as the Folger Shakespeare Library, he is a convert to the Orthodox Church at peace with the beauty of theology and literature.

Critical Essays In

Jill Kriegel

Jill Kriegel

Jill Kriegel earned her Ph.D. in Comparative Studies from Florida Atlantic University. With emphases in nineteenth-century British literature and ancient Greek and early Christian philosophy, her dissertation explores Augustinian echoes in the novels of Charles Dickens. She has published articles in the Saint Austin Review (StAR) and Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture. In addition, she is editor of Ignatius Critical Edition volumes. Jill teaches English at St. Joseph's Catholic School in Greenville, South Carolina.

Critical Essays in


Jonathan Marks

Jonathan Marks is associate professor of politics at Ursinus College. He is the author of Perfection and Disharmony in the Thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

Critical Essays in

Rebecca Munro

Rebecca Munro

Rebecca Munro received her Ph.D. in English at Baylor University in 2003. She currently teaches English at Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, specializing in Shakespeare and the English Renaissance. She has contributed several book reviews to Boston College's Religion and the Arts, served as juror for the Lilly Fellows annual book award, and presented papers on Shakespeare, Renaissance, and Medieval literature. At Belmont Abbey College, she is at the center of vibrant creative activity as advisor for the prize-winning student-edited literary journal Agora as well as for the school's creative writing club WIT, Writers in Training. Activities that spring from both include four yearly on-campus celebrations of literary art and music, which she hosts with her editors.

Critical Essays in


Stephen Zelnick

Stephen Zelnick, PhD, teaches British literature at Temple University and has written on William Shakespeare, Daniel Defoe, Herman Melville, Joseph Conrad, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, as well as on curriculum design. He is cofounder of the Association for Core Texts and Courses, has directed Temple's Intellectual Heritage Program, and has served as vice provost for undergraduate studies. He also consults on international curriculum projects.

Critical Essays in


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