5 responses so far ↓
  • 1 Ben Ratkowski // Jan 30, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    Part of the reason Shakespeare’s plays have sustained for over 400 years is because Shakespeare is a master at creating characters. At the same time Shakespeare illustrates adept stagecraft through the structure of a play, Shakespeare provides specific characterization through language. That characterization, though specific, naturally gives a performer and audience members the freedom of adding their own interpretation. An interpretation which derives from Shakespeare’s language. Shmoop’s assumption in Romeo and Juliet is not textually supported. The suggestion of 3.5 is forcing evidence where it does not exist. Shmoop’s assertion is an attempt in clevernesss to be innovative and provocative for the sake of students. Shakespeare’s cleverness will far outlast everyone. True innovation with Shakespeare is not forcing a new idea onto the text, but learning through exploration of the text. Students that truly explore the text and find ideas supported in the text will help sustain the masterful art of Shakespeare for another 400 years.

  • 2 Peter // Jan 31, 2012 at 7:39 am


    Great comment. Thanks for visiting. I agree 100%. Novel intepretations are great but they must be supported by the text, but that takes serious work and few are willing to do it.

  • 3 Kerr Lockhart // May 27, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    I don’t disagree with your premise, but you mustn’t discount the idea that, as a good daughter of the Church (and remember Juliet is a Catholic, unlike much of her English audience), she has been married in and by the Church in the person of Friar Laurence. Consummation only goes to the MARRIAGE CONTRACT which is the concern of her father as the contracting party. Her only concern is as a woman and a Christian, and as she was married in the eyes of God –even without having relations with her husband — if she purported to marry anyone else, she would GO TO HELL. To marry Paris is to put her soul in peril and to risk ETERNAL DAMNATION. Too many modern readers of Shakespeare are too cynical about Christianity, which was sincerely accepted by the people of Shakespeare’s time. Therefore, the prospect of entering another marriage, and in a church, raises the threat of perpetual torment and separation from God. It would be natural for Juliet to be frightened to death at this possibility.

  • 4 Peter // May 29, 2013 at 4:29 pm


    Thanks for visiting. Interesting observations but the text does not support that interpretation. The text does show that Juliet was wildly in love with Romeo to the exclusion of all others, including Paris.

  • 5 Zev Farkas // Jan 11, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    shouldn’t the line: “It shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate,” be more like “It shall be Romeo, whom I know you hate,”?

    looks like a simple typo to me – but it totally changes the meaning…

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