The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1270 Wednesday, 14 July 1999.
From: Marilyn Bonomi <
Date: Wednesday, 14 Jul 1999 00:03:28 -0400
Subject: 10.1254: Time in R&J
Comment: Re: SHK 10.1254: Time in R&J
The time in R&J only works if you transpose "two and forty hours" to
"four and twenty hours" for J's coma.
Which could easily happen:
Mantua is a 1/2 day's ride from Verona, though whether or not
Shakespeare actually knew that I have no way of knowing.
Play starts Sun morning; party Sun night. Wedding Mon afternoon. Same
re deaths. It's Monday when Paris gets Juliet's hand... and it is so
very late that we may call it early by and by. Wedding set for Thurs
and moved up to Wednesday. J takes potion Tues night, put in tomb
shortly after 3 am Wed. morning. Balthazar sees it, rides for Mantua;
Romeo rides back, arriving Wed. night.
The glooming peace that the morrow brings is Thurs. morning.
All these days come from the references between Capulet and Paris, then
moving forward and back from there, using references to "this afternoon"
and such phrases.
Only other possibility is a blank lapse of time from Wed. morning to
Thurs evening when Romeo arrives in Verona... and I don't believe, given
the incredibly rapid pace of the rest of the play, that Shakespeare
would have that large a gap.
So it all hinges on how long Juliet's potion works before it wears off.
Everything else but that fits.