2006

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0041  Thursday, 16 February 2006

From: 		Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 16 Feb 2006 10:10:22 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 	A Wedding Ring Question

Colleagues:

Upon reviewing the wedding service in the 1559 Book of Common Prayer, I 
find the groom bestowing upon the bride a ring with the pledge "with my 
body I thee worship." But nowhere do I find in the service that the 
groom himself receives a ring. So, in relation to The Merchant of 
Venice, where does the idea arise that newly-married men have rings that 
signify their wedded states? The vulgarity of Gratiano's concluding 
lines seems intensified if "Nerissa's ring" is only her genitals and not 
a ring-jewel that signifies legal marriage bonds.

Jack Heller

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