The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1956  Tuesday, 16 November 2004

From:           D Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 29 Oct 2004 08:02:38 -0500
Subject: 15.1950 Greenblatt
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.1950 Greenblatt

Larry Weiss writes

"[I]t is likely that the actor who played Lady Montague must have
doubled in a character on stage at the end of the play (Shakespeare is
forced to explain her absence by having her die of grief); but was it
Paris? Friar Laurence?"

On the one hand, this presumes that the role was played by a grown man
rather than a youth. It's possible, of course, but is there evidence to
suggest either that this sort of thing commonly happened, or that it
happened in this instance?

On the other hand, it suggests that WS wrote the play with the idea in
mind of some actor doubling Lady M with a part that had to be on-stage
in the last scene. This seems unlikely to me. It leaves us, however,
with the fact that Lady M is missing from the last scene where she might
well have been placed to balance the grief of the other mother with
maternal grief of her own. My guess is that he realized that he had
plenty of parental grief and guilt already, and that more would have
been superfluous.

Abigail Quart refers me to
http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/sainta06.htm for information about
the relationship of St. Anthony to pigs. As I suspected, it had to do
with folk-belief rather than orthodoxy since it was not referred to in
the CE.

The issue still leaves me perplexed as to his patronage of pigs as well
as pig-*keepers*. Do saints commonly have patronage over objects rather
than over the humans who are associated with them? Do wild pigs need or
enjoy patronage? Or is this differentiation merely a matter of
(Protestant) hair-splitting?

ANTHONY the Abbot

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