- Levin, Harry. "Form and Formality in Romeo and Juliet."
- Shakespeare Quarterly 11 (1960): 3-11. Rptd. in Shakespeare and the Revolution of the Times: Perspectives and Commentaries. New York: Oxford UP, 1976. 103-119.
Thesis: There isn't one. The essay is a rambling meditation on poetic forms and social formalities in Romeo and Juliet.
Rosaline's prior effect upon him [Romeo] is all that we ever learn about her; yet it has been enough to make Romeo, when he is presented to us, a virtual stereotype of the romantic lover. (104)
Subsequently [to the first meeting of Romeo and Juliet], the leading characters acquire together a deeper dimension of feeling by expressly repudiating the artificial language they have talked and the superficial code they have lived by. . . . An index of this development is the incidence of rhyme, heavily concentrated in the First Act, and its gradual replacement by blank verse which is realistic or didactic with other speakers and unprecedentedly limpid and passionate with the lovers. (109)
- Confusing leaps of thought.
- Obscure sarcasm directed at the anthropologist Margaret Mead.
Bottom Line: Well-written, erudite chat.