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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: June ::
"not well married"??
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1618  Tuesday, 26 June 2001

From:           Philip Weller <
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Date:           Monday, 25 Jun 2001 10:54:40 -0700
Subject:        "not well married"??

Friar Lawrence, lecturing Capulet and Lady Capulet on the proper
attitude towards the death of Juliet, says, "She's not well married that
lives married long, / But she's best married that dies married young"
(4.5.77-78).

To me it looks like this implies that the longer a woman is married, the
more likely she is to sin, which seems excessively cynical for the
context.  It seems more appropriate to Rosalind's teasing of Orlando
about the waywardness of wives.

So, I have two questions:

1) Is there another way to interpret these lines?

2) Could the statement be a "sentence," a truism which the Friar could
think would be helpful to the grieving parents?

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