SiStan ChapLee

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Notes on "Romeo and Juliet" (1)

Since Shakespeare's works have been examined from one cardinal point to another during the centuries, these notes -- that will be published on Saturdays -- do not claim to originality. They will simply stress some interesting details in Romeo and Juliet from the point of view of either the acting or Renaissance culture and everyday life. The quotations are taken from the Alexander Text of the play.

The Prologue

Line 9  The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love
like a meteor, which was considered a sign of ill omen

Act I
Scene i

Lady Montague: A very rare appearance in the play. She will even die in the end. N.B. In general, the Montague family will be given a much lesser role than the Capulets.

Lines 128-30  . . . sun . . . begin to draw . . .
The shady curtains from Aurora's bed
a Baroque agudeza (witty subtlety): the Sun wakes up before dawn

Lines 132-3  And private in his chamber pens himself,
Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out
see the current social phenomenon called hikikomori

[Rosaline]: We will not even see her.

Line 208  Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold
with a hint at Danaƫ, and sperm

Lines 215-6  She is too fair, too wise, wisely too fair,
To merit bliss by making me despair
Romeo should mean "to trouble herself with making me happy," but the opposite is what Rosaline actually does

Line 218  Do I live dead that live to tell it now
see Coleridge's Ancient Mariner