Reviving Juliet, Repackaging Romeo

Transformations of Character in Pop and Post-Pop Music
  • Stephen M. Buhler


Romeo and Juliet are ubiquitous figures in popular and mass-market culture and have been for well over a century, perhaps for as long as marketing strategies have appropriated from works increasingly set as “high culture.” Over the course of that century, references to “Juliet and her Romeo” (5.3.310)1—as the Prince names the couple and characterizes their story in his concluding couplet—changed as the play became more strongly identified with youth and with shifting societal attitudes toward the young. Adolescence, the period of development called to mind by the characters’ chronological ages, came to be seen as a subculture with its own behavior patterns, tastes, and purchasing power. Many of this group s attributes were constructed and communicated in and through music.


West Side Music Industry Societal Attitude Youth Culture Film Version 
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Copyright information

© Richard Burt 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen M. Buhler

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