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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: May ::
Playing Capulet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0267  Wednesday, 27 May 2009

From:       Donald Bloom <
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Date:       Thursday, 21 May 2009 09:44:28 -0500
Subject: 20.0254 Playing Capulet
Comment:    RE: SHK 20.0254 Playing Capulet

Mike Shapiro offers this suggestion:

 >As pointed out earlier, arranged marriages during the period were 
politically
 >influenced. It has been reported that QE1 was extremely interested in 
marriages
 >of those in her circle and required such unions be first cleared with 
her. These
 >concerns were related to personal safety in that some unions might 
provide fertile ground for
conspiratorial activity. Could these types of concerns be also on the 
minds of the
 >upper crust families?

Apparently not. The Duke of Verona doesn't seem to care whom Juliet 
marries, although we presume he has no objection its being his kinsman 
Paris. Theseus doesn't seem to care whom Hermia marries except that her 
father's brutal demand causes him a lot of grief in the middle of his 
wedding celebration. Likewise with Othello. The fathers involved don't 
seem to have any politics

Elizabeth's situation was peculiar and vulnerable -- both to 
assassination and to a coup. But even monarchs less vulnerable would be 
(and were) cautious about the marriage alliances of the great ones. I 
think the point about Capulet, Egeus, and Brabantio is that, although 
prominent, they are apparently not among the great and their daughters' 
marriages are only of incidental concern to the monarchs.

Cheers,
don

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