SiStan ChapLee

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Notes on "Romeo and Juliet" (12)

Act III
Scene v

Lines 97-9  . . . a poison, I would temper it,
That Romeo should, upon receipt thereof,
Soon sleep in quiet.  . . .
again, Juliet describes what in a short while will be her own condition by referring (here, ironically) to Romeo

Lines 111-12  [Juliet] Madam, in happy time, what day is that?
[Lady Capulet] Marry, my child . . .
a pun based on the ambivalence of "marry"

Line 114  . . . at Saint Peter's Church
Saint Peter the 13th century Dominican martyr, not the apostle; a church in Verona that is currently deconsecrated, and also known as San Giorgetto, "Little Saint George"

Line 156 . . . Out, you baggage!
like bagascia still nowadays in Italian parlance, especially in Rome

Lines 201-2  Or . . . make the bridal bed
In that dim monument where Tybalt lies
it will actually happen so

Lines 210-11  Alack, alack, that heaven should practise stratagems
Upon so soft a subject as myself!
possibly one of the most powerful expressions, in literature, of Man's cry against God

Line 234  Ancient damnation! O most wicked fiend!
Juliet insults the Nurse identifying her with the Serpent of original sin: see the speech formulas culpa vetus, damnatio originalis, pessimus hostis, etc., in theological Latin 

(to be continued after the Christmas holidays)