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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: June ::
Re: Swearing and Oaths
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1005  Tuesday, 15 June 1999.

[1]     From:   Marilyn Bonomi <
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        Date:   Sunday, 13 Jun 1999 23:40:35 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1001 Swearing and Oaths

[2]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Monday, 14 Jun 1999 22:58:33 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1001 Swearing and Oaths


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marilyn Bonomi <
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Date:           Sunday, 13 Jun 1999 23:40:35 -0400
Subject: 10.1001 Swearing and Oaths
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1001 Swearing and Oaths

Judy Craiag commented,

>It seems that Shakespeare took oaths very seriously,
>perhaps echoing
>Jesus' warning in Matthew 5:33-37 that swearing can be very dangerous
>because you are obligated to perform it ("You shall perform to the Lord
>what you have sworn" v. 33) and that it is better not to swear at all.

Even in an early play, R&J, he deals w/ this subject, as Juliet warns
Romeo in 2.2 first not to swear by the moon, then to swear by himself,
and finally, "Well, do not swear...."  This fear of false vows seems to
be a long-term theme.

Marilyn Bonomi

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Monday, 14 Jun 1999 22:58:33 -0400
Subject: 10.1001 Swearing and Oaths
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1001 Swearing and Oaths

Judith Craig wrote:

>Dana's comment is interesting in light of Deuteronomy 19:  21-23:  "When
>you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not be slack to pay it;
>for the Lord your God will surely requite it of you . . . . But if you
>refrain from vowing, it shall be no sin in you.  You shall be careful to
>perform what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the
>Lord your God what you have promised with your mouth."
>
>It seems that Shakespeare took oaths very seriously, perhaps echoing
>Jesus' warning in Matthew 5:33-37 that swearing can be very dangerous
>because you are obligated to perform it ("You shall perform to the Lord
>what you have sworn" v. 33) and that it is better not to swear at all.

 And consider Shylock's "An oath, an oath;  I have an oath in heaven!
                                        Shall I lay perjury upon my
soul?"
                                (M/V,IV.i.228-29)
 

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