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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: December ::
Re: Juliet and the "inconstant moon"
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1256.  Friday, 26 December 1997.

[1]     From:   John A Mills <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Dec 1997 09:20:11 -0700 (MST)
        Subj:   The inconstant moon

[2]     From:   Brad Morris <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Dec 1997 20:09:25 EST
        Subj:   Re: Juliet and the "inconstant moon"


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John A Mills <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Dec 1997 09:20:11 -0700 (MST)
Subject:        The inconstant moon

Though Juliet probably is not asking Romeo to swear off chastity, he has
surely wished her to do so in his opening speech:  " . . . kill the
envious moon, Who is already sick and pale with grief That thou her maid
art far more fair than she. Be not her maid since she is envious.  Her
vestal livery is but sick and green, And none but fools do wear it.
Cast it off."   John Mills, U. of Arizona

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brad Morris <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Dec 1997 20:09:25 EST
Subject:        Re: Juliet and the "inconstant moon"

> Try reading *A Midsummer Night's Dream*
>  in these terms, and enjoy.  (In other ways as well, the two plays are
>  companion pieces:  love in a tomb, war between two families, attempt to
>  force a girl in each play into a marriage she abhors.  Even the imagery
>  of lightning in the balcony scene and in 1.1 of MND.)  The two plays
>  belong together in your mind if not also in the minds of your students.
>  I would like to teach them to h.s. students as a pair.

We can also add Richard II to this group, but I disagree about teaching
them (neither the aforementioned pair nor the whole group of plays) as a
unit, due simply to time constraints. What I mean is that if I had a
semester to teach Shakespeare, then that would be fine, but since most
of us have to fit Shakespeare in among Steinbeck, Whitman, Joyce and
diagrammed sentences, there's no time to focus on this group of
adolescent plays.

But it is an interesting group, in that since all three were written
roughly at the same time, we find rash actions in all three. I don't
know that the group should be taught (as a group, that is) to high
schoolers, but I do think this is an interesting trio of work, due to
the vast differences between them that are bound together by the time
frame during which they were written.

Brad
 

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