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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: June ::
Re: One Query about R&J
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1374  Tuesday, 5 June 2001

[1]     From:   Mari Bonomi <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 06:32:14 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1363 One Query about R&J

[2]     From:   Vick Bennison <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 07:27:07 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1363 One Query about R&J

[3]     From:   Joe Conlon <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 06:43:09 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1363 One Query about R&J

[4]     From:   Clifford Stetner <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 08:46:09 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1363 One Query about R&J

[5]     From:   Kezia Vanmeter Sproat <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 08:54:18 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1363 One Query about R&J


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mari Bonomi <
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Date:           Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 06:32:14 -0400
Subject: 12.1363 One Query about R&J
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1363 One Query about R&J

> Which on more view of many, mine, being one,
> May stand in number, though in reck'ning none. (R&J 1.2.32-33)

My understanding, no doubt shaped by years of using the Folger edition,
is that Capulet is saying Look at all the pretty girls at the party.
When you do, Juliet, one of those girls, may still stand officially as
number one girl (meaning daughter of the host). However you will reckon
her as nothing in comparison to the other lovely girls you will be
seeing.

Mari Bonomi

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Vick Bennison <
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Date:           Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 07:27:07 EDT
Subject: 12.1363 One Query about R&J
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1363 One Query about R&J

He's trying to discourage Paris without causing him to lose face.  He
says if Juliet wants Paris, he'll go along with it, but meanwhile Paris
should look at all the beauties at the ball and he will see that though
Juliet adds one beauty to the total, she does not stand out among them
for her beauty, and perhaps Paris, the degenerate old fart, would like
to pick some other woman, preferrably over 14 and not his daughter.

- Vick

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joe Conlon <
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Date:           Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 06:43:09 -0500
Subject: 12.1363 One Query about R&J
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1363 One Query about R&J

For what it's worth, here's my reading of the line's meaning.  Capulet
has just turned down his guest's request for Juliet's hand in marriage
because of Juliet's tender age.  BUT he doesn't want to lose him as a
prospective son-in-law.  He approves of the match -- just not the
timing.  He's both being hospitable and wanting to show off a bit at the
party and hoping that Paris will be willing to wait a couple of years
before choosing a bride.  So he basically says, "Hey we're having a
little party tonight and all the pretty girls in town will be here.
Come on over and crush a cup with us and you'll see just how good your
choice is.  You think Juliet looks good now, and she does, just wait
until you see her properly decked out and set off by the other beauties
and you'll be even more impressed."  He also gives Paris permission to
woo Juliet at the party and says that he's not trying to stand in the
way of the match, he's just not going to force Juliet into a match she
doesn't want at her age.  If it's ok with Juliet, it's ok with him.

Joe Conlon,
Warsaw, IN

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <
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Date:           Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 08:46:09 -0400
Subject: 12.1363 One Query about R&J
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1363 One Query about R&J

While Riverside seems to think he is disparaging her beauty with a pun
on the expression "one is no number," that wouldn't be consistent with
his eagerness for their marriage.  I think he is saying she is a
nonpareil.  ie While one is no number in reckoning, as one, it may be
that she is to be reckoned among the many of Verona.

Clifford

> Has anyone a clue to what Old Capulet means when he invites Paris to
> view the beauties of the town, including Juliet:
>
> Which on more view of many, mine, being one,
> May stand in number, though in reck'ning none. (R&J 1.2.32-33)
>
> All ideas welcome.
>
> Steve

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kezia Vanmeter Sproat <
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Date:           Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 08:54:18 EDT
Subject: 12.1363 One Query about R&J
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1363 One Query about R&J

     Has anyone a clue to what Old Capulet means when he invites Paris
to
     view the beauties of the town, including Juliet:

     Which on more view of many, mine, being one,
     May stand in number, though in reck'ning none. (R&J 1.2.32-33)

     All ideas welcome.

Here's my reading. These lines foreshadow the coming tragedy.

They tie down a sales pitch to Paris; Capulet is merchandising his
daughter; using the other young women of Verona as a frame within which
to present her. He says "My will to her consent is but a part" a few
lines earlier but doesn't mean it. Speaking of edgy!

These lines should chill the air. One up from a slave sale: many "fresh
female buds" (hello, this chills the air for at least half of us right
there) can be seen and heard at Capulet's house this evening, but, he's
saying, "My daughter will be one among many in a number of young women
whom you may see and hear tonight, but in RECKONING, none [of the others
compare]. Reckonings reference material wealth. It is an only slightly
veiled reference to the larger size of the dowry his wealth supplies in
the transaction.

R&J can be read as an attack on the [traditionally oppressive] ideas
[about women] that Capulet suffers under. Those ideas [women are not
fully biologically human, and can be seen as merchandise rightly
controlled by men, more or less as orangutans are controlled by
zookeepers today] are what really kill the lovers, not a weak priest and
bad timing or even a vaguely defined ancient family rivalry arising from
the mists of Veronese history.

In a word, sexism, unveiled here early in the play to add to the
tension.

Kezia Vanmeter Sproat

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