3rd December 2019


What Greek myth is Romeo and Juliet based on?

There's very little new under the sun. And Ovid's version of Pyramus and Thisbe was probably based on an Anatolian myth now lost to us, and before that… Of course, Shakespeare explicitly references Pyramus and Thisbe in A Midsummer Night's Dream, written probably around the same time as Romeo and Juliet.

In this manner, where did the original story of Romeo and Juliet come from?

Shakespeare may also have known of the Italian version Giulietta e Romeo (1530) by Luigi da Porto who set the tale of Romeo and Juliet in Verona in Italy. The play is set in Verona – in Renaissance Italy - considered the height of fashion in Elizabethan England.

What is the origin of Romeo and Juliet?

Shakespeare's primary source for Romeo and Juliet was a poem by Arthur Brooke called The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Iuliet, written in 1562. He also could have known the popular tale of Romeo and Juliet from a collection by William Painter, entitled The Palace of Pleasure, which was written sometime before 1580.
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