Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: September ::
Re: Romeo & Juliet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1781  Thursday, 21 September 2000.

[1]     From:   Philip Weller <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 20 Sep 2000 11:40:04 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1770 Re: Romeo & Juliet - 'Et caetera'

[2]     From:   Ed Kranz <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 20 Sep 2000 22:43:35 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1770 Re: Romeo & Juliet

[3]     From:   David Lindley <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Sep 2000 10:03:06 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1770 Re: Romeo & Juliet

[4]     From:   Don Bloom <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Sep 2000 09:01:00 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1770 Re: Romeo & Juliet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Philip Weller <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 20 Sep 2000 11:40:04 -0700
Subject: 11.1770 Re: Romeo & Juliet - 'Et caetera'
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1770 Re: Romeo & Juliet - 'Et caetera'

I agree with Dahl.  'Et caetera' is part of Mercutio's wit, just as 'sir
reverence' (or 'saving your reverence') is in 1.4.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Kranz <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 20 Sep 2000 22:43:35 -0400
Subject: 11.1770 Re: Romeo & Juliet
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1770 Re: Romeo & Juliet

I recently watched the Luhrman film of R&J and he too has it as 'open
arse'. He also reads sexually line 41 Act3 Scene1 "...make it a word and
a blow.".  I could find no citation in the OED which would justify the
use of "blow" as fellatio. Comments anyone?

Ed Kranz

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 21 Sep 2000 10:03:06 GMT
Subject: 11.1770 Re: Romeo & Juliet
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1770 Re: Romeo & Juliet

Not wanting to enter again into dispute with Marcus Dahl about the
rights and wrongs of editorial intervention, I'd yet be interested to
know what he would have an actor on stage *say* at this point in R&J.

David Lindley

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 21 Sep 2000 09:01:00 -0500
Subject: 11.1770 Re: Romeo & Juliet
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1770 Re: Romeo & Juliet

>No doubt others will disagree, but it seems to me that the modern
>emendation 'open-arse' from Q1's 'Et caetera' (euphemism) and Folio's
>'(elipsis) or' are at best crude and at worst a degredation of
>renaissance text. For those wishing to understand the nature of S's
>language the obvious modern rendering of a witty comment elucidates the
>meaning of the rather obscure reference but in doing so reduces the
>actual worth of Mecutio's wit to that of mere rhetorical violence. For
>those interested in reading renaissance texts as they were produced the
>emendation is mere textual violence. What ever happened to explanatory
>footnotes?

This remark puzzles me. Unless he is disputing the scholarship of
Partridge and others, Dahl seems to have missed the factual point.
According to Partridge "et cetera" and "open arse" (medlar) were equally
clear slang references to the female sexual organs (or that
neighborhood), directly parallel to the "Poprin peare," the male
equivalent. The Second Quarto, "open, or," is clearly a slightly mangled
version of "open arse," so that if the editor picks it, he or she is not
revising Shakespeare but merely preferring the SQ version to the First.
There are several good reasons for doing so, including the fact that the
Second is generally preferable and is assumed to be more authoritative
(in the fullest sense of the word).  Perhaps, the editors who have
picked it also figured that Mercutio's off-color pun is clearer to a
modern reader in the Second version than the First. There are reasons
for selecting the First, though, as well: primarily it is less crude and
obvious, which suits the sensibilities of at least some readers;
secondarily, it fits the metrics better.

In general it seems futile to me to try to clean up Mercutio's language,
which is a constant stream of obscene puns, and which, in turn, you
enjoy or not. One open arse more or less can't change that.

don bloom
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.