Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: May ::
Re: Romeo and Juliet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1333  Saturday, 18 May 2002

[1]     From:   Janet Costa <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 15 May 2002 06:52:31 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1326 Re: Romeo and Juliet

[2]     From:   Martin Steward <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 15 May 2002 17:39:23 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1326 Re: Romeo and Juliet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Janet Costa <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 15 May 2002 06:52:31 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 13.1326 Re: Romeo and Juliet
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1326 Re: Romeo and Juliet

'As Bill Arnold tells the story of Adam and Eve, disobedience precedes
(and perhaps provokes) the attraction.  In Shakespeare's play, there is
no disobedience before the love...'

I think a case can be made that the initial disobedience dervives from
the 'ancient grudge'. The unspoken prohibition that the Montagues and
the Capulets were not supposed to mix on any level is established by the
skirmish that opens the play. Romeo and Benvolio break this prohibition
by crashing Capulet's 'feast', so, albeit unilaterally, there is
disobedience before love. Once Romeo and Juliet learn that their love
also breaks the prohibition, they continue their affair, which may have
added to the attraction ('balcony scene: 'Art thou not Romeo and a
Montague?'). The choice to pursue the relationship is further
disobedience, Romeo's killing Tybalt in violation of the peace and
Juliet's not going to St. Peter's still further. The result of the
'original' sin is, of course, out of proportion to the sin, as in Adam
and Eve. Therefore, I can see Bill Arnold's point, stretched as it may
be.

Janet

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 15 May 2002 17:39:23 +0100
Subject: 13.1326 Re: Romeo and Juliet
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1326 Re: Romeo and Juliet

Philip Weller writes:

>As Bill Arnold tells the story of Adam and Eve, disobedience precedes
>(and perhaps provokes) the attraction.  In Shakespeare's play, there is
>no disobedience before the love, and R&J both express surprise and
>dismay upon discovering that their new love is a member of the enemy
>house.  So, no, I don't think Bill Arnold has made his case with this
>parallel.

But R&J indulge their love despite knowing, and being dismayed at, the
transgressive aspects of that love. We all know that transgressive
relationships are inherently sexier than well-behaved ones, especially
for teenagers. And Milton understood something about this dynamic, as
his retelling of the Fall reveals:

"Adam at first amaz'd, but perceiving her lost, resolves through
vehemence
of love to perish with her", as the Argument for Book IX puts it. Or,
infinitely more moving, the poem itself:

                ... Adam, soon as he heard
The fatal Trespass done by Eve, amaz'd,
Astonied stood and blank, while horror chill
Ran through his veins, and all his joints relax'd...
Speechless he stood and pale, till thus at length
First to himself he inward silence broke.
"O fairest of Creation, last and best
Of all God's Works...
        ... how hast thou yielded to transgress
The strict forbiddance, how to violate
The sacred Fruit forbidd'n! some cursed fraud
Of enemy hath beguil'd thee, yet unknown,
And mee with thee hath ruin'd, for with thee
Certain my resolution is to Die;
How can I live without thee, how forgo
Thy sweet Converse and Love so dearly join'd,
To live again in these wild Woods forlorn?..."

Paradise Lost, Book IX, 888-910

m

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.