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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: March ::
Re: Questions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0490  Friday, 14 March 2003

[1]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Thursday, 13 Mar 2003 12:50:38 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0472 Re: Questions

[2]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
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        Date:   Thursday, 13 Mar 2003 13:04:54 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0472 Re: Questions

[3]     From:   Takashi Kozuka <
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        Date:   Friday, 14 Mar 2003 00:09:12 0000
        Subj:   Re: Questions


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Thursday, 13 Mar 2003 12:50:38 -0400
Subject: 14.0472 Re: Questions
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0472 Re: Questions

James Conlan writes,

>Third, the final couplet does not simply place Juliet first but
>identifies Romeo as belonging to "her": the possessive pronoun declares
>Romeo the subordinate in a relationship in which the law said, as a
>fundamental principle, that the masculine partner was the superior or
>_paterfamilias_ in the marriage and the female partner belonged to his
>family (the reason wives take their husbands' names or are referred to
>as "de" their husband's name in Spanish).

Isn't that a little strong?  One often says (or at least, hears) "her
husband" or "her goodman", without noting some radical reversal of
social precedent.

Cheers,
Sean.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
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Date:           Thursday, 13 Mar 2003 13:04:54 -0500
Subject: 14.0472 Re: Questions
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0472 Re: Questions

James Conlan <
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 > writes,

>First, the order of precedence was a branch of heraldic law. It cannot
>be derived from poetical analysis.  Laws of precedence informed rhetoric
>only in the order and style of the address and the posture the author
>took in referring to his specified audience.

But the Prince is not addressing Romeo and Juliet.

>Third, the final couplet does not simply place Juliet first but
>identifies Romeo as belonging to "her": the possessive pronoun declares
>Romeo the subordinate

The genitive construction indicates many more things than possession,
not only in English, but in every other language I know of.  (The remark
in "Loglan 1", the description of the artificial language Loglan
[http://www.loglan.org], concerning Loglan's "possessive" marker, _pe_,
is instructive:  "... *[P]e* ... is a kind of vague, all-purpose linking
marker saying only that he's related in some way to his boat: that he
owns it, sails around on it, goes to sea in it, is its captain or its
cabin-boy.  Instructive, too, is Screwtape's elaboration of the
hierarchy of meanings rising from "my boots" to "my God".)

>According to laws of
>precedence in which the gentlemen in Shakespeare's audience were
>steeped, by violating the usual ordering in marriage, the prince is
>indicating that the Montagues are of lesser status than the Capulets.

But we know that, on the assurance of the auctorial voice, to be false.

>As Ambassadors from France and Spain often balked when the other was
>place in a position of precedence in the English court, this finding, as
>I mentioned before, is unlikely to result in peace.

Thus undercutting the reconciliation?  In _Shakespeare_, an author to
whom reconciliation amounts almost to an idee fixe?

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Takashi Kozuka <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 14 Mar 2003 00:09:12 0000
Subject:        Re: Questions

James wrote: "First, the order of precedence was a branch of heraldic
law. It cannot be derived from poetical analysis."

But David was talking not only about the poetical dimension of the line
but also about (in his words) "early modern rhetoric". What happened to
the latter part of the story?

Best wishes,
Takashi

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