Comic confusion (1.2.34-43)

CAPULET                                [To Servant] Go, sirrah, trudge about                         Through fair Verona, find those persons out                         Whose names are written there [Gives a paper.], and to them say,                         My house and welcome on their pleasure stay.                                                                         Exit [with Paris] SERVANT        Find them out whose names are written here! It is written that the […]

Continue Reading

Fennel/female buds (1.2.26-34)

CAPULET        Such comfort as do lusty young men feel                         When well-apparelled April on the heel                         Of limping winter treads, even such delight                         Among fresh fennel buds shall you this night                         Inherit at my house; hear all, all see;                         And like her most whose merit most shall be;                         Which on […]

Continue Reading

Earth-treading stars (1.2.20-25)

CAPULET        This night I hold an old accustomed feast,                         Whereto I have invited many a guest,                         Such as I love, and you among the store,                         One more, most welcome, makes my number more.                         At my poor house look to behold this night                         Earth-treading stars that make dark heaven light. (1.2.20-25) […]

Continue Reading

Choice and voice (1.2.14-19)

CAPULET        Earth hath swallowed all my hopes but she;                         She’s the hopeful lady of my earth.                         But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart,                         My will to her consent is but a part;                         And she agreed, within her scope of choice                         Lies my consent and fair according voice. (1.2.14-19)   […]

Continue Reading

A stranger in the world (1.2.1-13)

Enter CAPULET, COUNTY PARIS, and the Clown [SERVANT to Capulet] CAPULET        But Montague is bound as well as I,                         In penalty alike, and ’tis not hard, I think,                         For men so old as we to keep the peace. PARIS              Of honourable reckoning are you both,                         And pity ’tis, you lived at odds […]

Continue Reading

Reflection on 1.1

Some thoughts on 1.1. It’s long – by a very rough line count, around 8% of the play. And it’s really good. The tonal shifts dazzle: the coiled spring of the Prologue. The increasing pace and driving rhythm of the servants (and the way in which this moves so naturally into first, verse, and then […]

Continue Reading

A note where I may read (1.1.219-229)

ROMEO                                               ’Tis the way                         To call hers (exquisite) in question more:                         These happy masks that kiss fair ladies’ brows,                         Being black, puts us in mind they hide the fair;                         He that is strucken blind cannot forget                         The precious treasure of his eyesight lost;                         Show me a mistress that is […]

Continue Reading

Teach me how I should forget to think (1.1.216-219)

BENVOLIO      Be ruled by me, forget to think of her. ROMEO           O teach me how I should forget to think. BENVOLIO      By giving liberty unto thine eyes,                         Examine other beauties. (1.1.216-219)   Plenty more fish in the sea, in other words. (According to the OED, the Cambridge student Gabriel Harvey made this observation in […]

Continue Reading

She hath foresworn to love (1.1.208-215)

BENVOLIO      Then she hath sworn that she will still live chaste? ROMEO           She hath, and in that sparing makes huge waste;                         For beauty starved with her severity                         Cuts beauty off from all posterity.                         She is too fair, too wise, wisely too fair,                         To merit bliss by making me despair.                         She […]

Continue Reading

Romeo and Juliet at the Arts Theatre, Cambridge

Romeo and Juliet, dir. Tom Littler, presented by the Marlowe Society, Cambridge Arts Theatre, 27 January 2018 Not a review, but some thoughts and observations in response. This is at least the fourth student production of Romeo and Juliet that I’ve seen in Cambridge (the first was also the Marlowe in 2001, with a near-unknown […]

Continue Reading