The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0415 Wednesday, 17 October 2012
Date: October 16, 2012 2:37:33 AM EDT
Subject: Juliet is the Sun
I found Larry Weiss’s comment interesting because “natural philosophers” of the Renaissance such as Giordano Bruno were positing the existence of tiny sub-visible particles (building on the work of some ancient Greek philosophers). “Romeo and Juliet” also shows exquisite scientific awareness. Thus when Romeo returns to the Capulet house after the mask, he says (to himself) “Turn back, dull earth, and find thy centre out”. This is a reference to the contemporary debate surrounding heliocentrism, which Giordano Bruno was involved in as well. In fact, “ Romeo and Juliet” expresses the latest heliocentric science of the Renaissance, since people were just beginning to understand that the relationships and dependencies involved in the new cosmic framework implied that the sun and only the sun was available, ultimately, to power the earth. In other words, the heliocentric idea was starting to have a thermodynamic dimension.
Besides “atomi” we might also note that another word scientific word (“infinite”) (also associated with Giordano Bruno and his new conception of an infinite cosmos) of the Renaissance appears in “Romeo and Juliet” when Juliet says “My bounty is as boundless as the sea/My love as deep, the more I give to thee, / the more I have, for both are infinite.” Of course, this imagery of a boundless bounty also fits in nicely with a non-depleting energy source.