The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0128 Saturday, 23 March 2013
Date: March 22, 2013 3:13:04 PM EDT
Subject: Re: SHAKSPER: Rom. Quit
Tiffany Moore disagrees with Larry Weiss’ suggestion that Romeo means “acquit”—to discharge, as a debt.
The line, again: “be trusty, and I’ll quit thy pains:”
It can be “requite,” certainly, but it equally can be “be trustworthy, and I shall acquit my debt to you for your efforts.”
Hence, in terms of what Romeo is saying, either pronunciation would serve. Looking at the entire speech offers two clues, based on which assonance Shakespeare was trying to achieve:
And stay, good nurse, behind the abbey wall:
Within this hour my man shall be with thee
And bring thee cords made like a tackled stair;
Which to the high top-gallant of my joy
Must be my convoy in the secret night.
Farewell; be trusty, and I'll quit thy pains:
Farewell; commend me to thy mistress.
Is it “secret night/....quite thy.../...thy”?
Or is it “Which..../...quit.../...mistress”?