This volume introduces ‘civic Shakespeare’ as a new and complex category entailing the dynamic relation between the individual and the community on issues of authority, liberty, and cultural production. It investigates civic Shakespeare through Romeo and Juliet as a case study for an interrogation of the limits and possibilities of theatre and the idea of the civic. The play’s focus on civil strife, political challenge, and the rise of a new conception of the individual within society makes it an ideal site to examine how early modern civic topics were received and reconfigured on stage, and how the play has triggered ever new interpretations and civic performances over time. The essays focus on the way the play reflects civic life through the dramatization of issues of crisis and reconciliation when private and public spaces are brought to conflict, but also concentrate on the way the play has subsequently entered the public space of civic life. Set within the fertile context of performance studies and inspired by philosophical and sociological approaches, this book helps clarify the role of theatre within civic space while questioning the relation between citizens as spectators and the community. The wide-ranging chapters cover problems of civil interaction and their onstage representation, dealing with urban and household spaces; the boundaries of social relations and legal, economic, political, and religious regulation; and the public dimension of memory and celebration. This volume articulates civic Romeo and Juliet from the sources of genre to contemporary multicultural performances in political contact-zones and civic ‘Shakespaces,’ exploring the Bard and this play within the context of communal practices and their relations with institutions and civic interests.

chapter |34 pages


BySilvia Bigliazzi, Lisanna Calvi

chapter |8 pages


Shakespeare and Verona
ByStanley Wells

chapter |142 pages

Dialectics of Private and Public Spaces

BySilvia Bigliazzi, Lisanna Calvi

chapter |18 pages

Shakespeare as ‘Chief Architect and Plotter'

Romeo and Juliet and Civic Space
ByRoy Eriksen

chapter |15 pages


Love, Household, and City in Romeo and Juliet
ByMera J. Flaumenhaft

chapter |32 pages

Defiance and Denial

Paradigms of Civic Transgression and Transcendence in Romeo and Juliet
BySilvia Bigliazzi

chapter |24 pages

Tying the Knot in “fair Verona”

The Private and Public Spaces of Marriage in Romeo and Juliet
ByLisanna Calvi

chapter |14 pages

Silencing the Natural Body

Notes on the Monumental Body in Romeo and Juliet
BySilvia Bigliazzi, Lucia Nigri

chapter |106 pages

Civic Performances and R&Jspaces

BySilvia Bigliazzi, Lisanna Calvi

chapter |15 pages

“For these dead birds sigh a prayer”

ByPaul Edmondson

chapter |11 pages

“Wherefore art thou Marius?”

Otway's Adaptation of Romeo and Juliet
ByLoretta Innocenti

chapter |14 pages

At Juliet's Tomb

Anglophone Travel-Writing and Shakespeare's Verona, 1814–1914
ByNicola J. Watson

chapter |22 pages

Producing a (R&)Jspace

Discursive and Social Practices in Verona
BySilvia Bigliazzi, Lisanna Calvi

chapter |18 pages

Perché sei tu?

Lindsay Kemp's “gift of memory”
ByJacquelyn Bessell

chapter |13 pages

Stage(d) Reconciliations

Romeo and Juliet and the Politics of Bilingual Shakespeare Productions in Germany
ByBettina Boecker

chapter |8 pages


“What's past is prologue”: Civic Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet and Beyond
ByEwan Fernie, Paul Edmondson