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Showing posts with the label Romeo and Juliet

Test Question: How Did Romeo Respond When He Was Told He Will Be Having Sex with Juliet?

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The Plan for Romeo and Juliet to consummate their marriageWhen the Nurse explained the plan—a rope ladder, “the cords,” would be placed from Juliet’s bedroom, “the highway to her bed,” so that Romeo and Juliet could have sex and thereby consummate their marriage—Romeo responded by saying “bid my sweet prepare to chide.”
What does "to chide" mean?I’ve never been fully confident that I understood this line.  What does “to chide” mean in this context?  Why should Juliet “prepare to chide”?
I’ve never seen the line analyzed or glossed, but it is the pivotal moment in the drama. Up to this point, alternatives are possible.  The marriage has not been consummated and can be easily annulled.  Juliet still could marry Paris, and Romeo find another Rosalind or Juliet. Or Romeo and Juliet could announce that they have married and accept the ire of their families and banishment.  Their marriage might, as Friar Lawrence planned all along, put an end to the enmity between their families and…

Why Did Shakespeare Make Juliet Thirteen Years Old?

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Why did Shakespeare make Juliet thirteen years old?Whenever I lectured on Romeo and Juliet, I always started by asking “Why did Shakespeare make Juliet thirteen years old?”  As I fielded answers from students they generally fell into two broad categories.
In Shakespeare's time, people married young.  Not really.Category 1: “People in Shakespeare’s time married young.”  Actually, they didn’t.  Shakespeare himself was 18 when he married Anne Hathaway who was 26 and pregnant with their first child, Susanna, but Shakespeare needed permission from his father to marry at such a young age.  Shakespeare’s own daughters, Susanna and Judith, were married at 24 and 31 respectively.  
Our ideas of English girls’ marrying at thirteen (or younger) being common practice was likely provoked by infamous cases of royal betrothals.  For example, Mary Queen of Scots was sent to France to marry Francis, the Dauphin, when she was six.  She married him when she was sixteen and he was fourteen—he died thre…