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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: June ::
Re: One Query about R&J
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1403  Thursday, 7 June 2001

[1]     From:   Steve Sohmer <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 6 Jun 2001 08:28:49 EDT
        Subj:   Platonic Query about One in R&J

[2]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 19:03:27 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1374 Re: One Query about R&J

[3]     From:   Don Bloom <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 06 Jun 2001 11:18:47 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1374 Re: One Query about R&J

[4]     From:   Philip Weller <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 06 Jun 2001 10:01:05 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1382 Re: One Query about R&J

[5]     From:   Graham Hall <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 06 Jun 2001 20:33:16 -0000
        Subj:   Being frank with Paris

[6]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
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        Date:   Thursday, 7 Jun 2001 03:30:46 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1382 Re: One Query about R&J


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Sohmer <
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Date:           Wednesday, 6 Jun 2001 08:28:49 EDT
Subject:        Platonic Query about One in R&J

Dear Friends,

Thanks so much for the help with this. You've convinced me that Old
Capulet, having refused Paris's request for Juliet's hand, is further
playing down her appeal in contrast to the other maids of Verona.

But ... isn't he also punning on some Platonic notion (which I seem to
remember)  that one, being indivisible, is not a "number"? Can anyone
help me with this aspect of the lines?

All the best,
Steve

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
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Date:           Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 19:03:27 +0100
Subject: 12.1374 Re: One Query about R&J
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1374 Re: 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)

The surface meaning would seem pretty straightforward -- Juliet may be
one of the beauties (technically, she's a beauty, may be _counted_ as
one [stand in number]), but in terms of how beauty is _accounted_
(reckoned), she's pretty much out of the running.

What lies behind the statement, what puns it may or may not include, and
whether Capulet is being literal, ironic, or self(?)-deprecating, is
another matter.

Robin Hamilton

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <
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Date:           Wednesday, 06 Jun 2001 11:18:47 -0500
Subject: 12.1374 Re: One Query about R&J
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1374 Re: One Query about R&J

I just don't see all this hoo-hah about Capulet's remark. Someone (whose
message I unfortunately purged) said it was "pro forma modesty," or
something of the sort. This makes sense to me where a lot of this simply
doesn't.

At this stage Capulet could marry her off in a second to Paris, but
doesn't want to. He brags about how all the (non-Montague) beauties of
Verona will be on display, one of them his daughter. Thus, Paris may
find some other young woman, also beautiful and well-born, and Papa can
keep his little girl around the house for another year or two.

I take the "of reckoning none" to be modesty because, though the wealthy
patriarch of one of the two great houses of the city, he is not himself
of noble birth. Juliet is thus rather below the "county" in the old
aristocratic scale of values.

This, of course, depends on how we read the old syntax of the phrase in
question, but to me the above fits in very well with the proud,
affectionate, possessive, somewhat blustering man that WS seems to have
meant Capulet to be.

cheers,
don

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Philip Weller <
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Date:           Wednesday, 06 Jun 2001 10:01:05 -0700
Subject: 12.1382 Re: One Query about R&J
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1382 Re: One Query about R&J

The June 6 post has two opposed interpretations of the lines:

The first is:

>He's saying, "Come to our party...we've invited all the pretty girls in
>town, but when you see them altogether, you'll see that my Juliet is the
>prettiest!  She stands out from all the rest."

The second is:

>The sense in both passages [the other is Measure for Measure, 2.4.57-8]
>seems to be that lots of things may stand
>together to make up the numbers, but some are not reckoned, i.e. taken
>into account. That would mean that Capulet is here putting on some pro
>forma modesty on behalf of Juliet.

To me, the second is more persuasive, and I believe another reason it
makes sense is that if Capulet is here trying to cool Paris down,
Capulet's later announcement that Juliet is to be married to Paris will
be more of a thunderstroke.

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Graham Hall <
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Date:           Wednesday, 06 Jun 2001 20:33:16 -0000
Subject:        Being frank with Paris

A number of editors note quibbles that cause the passage to be replete
with fiscal resonance.."reckoning..inherit...odds...my will" etc. In
addition to the glosses already provided by respondents, Capulet's
remark may include a hint at "the cost of her dowry, the ball, her in
particular and daughters in general". The pattern of the two lines is
consistent with his testosterone attitude and also his inclination to be
one of the boys with the lads. I detect a whiff of Shakespeare perhaps
contemplating his expenses in respect of his own daughters who would be
(if my arithmetic is correct) of an approximately similar age to Juliet
- if the play dating is late 1590s. With two daughters of my own,I think
I'll now stop digging....

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
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Date:           Thursday, 7 Jun 2001 03:30:46 +0100
Subject: 12.1382 Re: One Query about R&J
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1382 Re: 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)

>There will be many pretty women here tonight, and my daughter will
> be
>one of them. Although one might think she is just a face in the
>crowd,
>you will see how she stands out among them. (None can compare).
>
> Terri Bourus

This might just work if the first line read, "Which on more view, many,
mine being one ...", but it doesn't.

That "of [sic] many" confirms that the subject of "May stand in number"
is "mine", not "many".

Robin Hamilton

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