“O, she is rich in beauty; only poor that when she dies, with beauty dies her store” : Rosaline in Shakespeare’s sixteenth-century play Romeo and Juliet and Rebecca Serle’s young adult novel When You Were Mine
This essay conducts a comparative analysis of the importance of the character Rosaline and the differences in her portrayal in two works: William Shakespeare’s 1590s play Romeo and Juliet and Rebecca Serle’s young adult novel When You Were Mine (2012). The essay especially looks into Rosaline’s importance for Romeo and Juliet’s relationship in the play and the novel. In relation to the play the essay also briefly discusses Franco Zeffirelli’s film adaptation Romeo and Juliet (1968) to show why it is important to keep Rosaline in the story. I argue that Shakespeare and Serle make use of the genres within which they work to tell slightly different versions of the story and Rosaline’s place in it. More specifically, I show how the literary and formal conventions of the genres affect the story by highlighting specific features, characters and events, which results in two works suited for different target audiences. In the end it is clear that Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is made for a Renaissance audience, while When You Were Mine is written for today’s young adults.
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