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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: May ::
Playing Capulet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0236  Friday, 15 May 2009

From:       David Evett <
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Date:       Wednesday, 13 May 2009 22:14:56 -0400
Subject: 20.0228 Playing Capulet
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0228 Playing Capulet

It is not necessary, I think, to take a standard  western C21 view of 
adolescent sexuality (the Palin family's, for example) to assess 
Capulet's reaction to Juliet's resistance to Paris. Her mother learns of 
it at 3.5.116, but defers response to her husband. He hears of it  from 
her at l. 141. Juliet confirms it, if somewhat obliquely, in 146-48. 
Fifty lines ensue before he exits; he speaks all but 5 and a half of 
them. Juliet gets 2, in which she requests, politely, to be heard:

     Good father, I beseech you on my knees.
                 She kneels down.
     Hear me with patience but to speak a word. (158-59)

He denies her even a single word: she will marry Paris on Thursday or be 
thrown into the street to starve or sell herself. He also refuses to 
hear the Nurse. Even Lady Capulet finds this wrong: "You are too hot" 
(175). A less intemperate, less absolutely and merely and stupidly 
patriarchal treatment of a youngster whose previous behavior seems on 
the face of it to have been exemplary offers at least the  possibility 
of avoiding the tragedy that awaits them all. Nobody much really listens 
to much of anybody, of course, in this impulse-driven play.

Temperately,
David Evett

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