[LMB] Rom and Jules, was When World-Views Collide, books

Margaret Dean margdean56 at gmail.com
Tue Jan 11 18:05:42 GMT 2022


On Tue, Jan 11, 2022 at 2:23 AM Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com>
wrote:

>
> Gwynne: It's a long time since I hit R&J and I can't remember; was Juliet
> an
> only child? I think she was. If her mum was only 28 she should still be
> having
> children, by the expectations of that society she should have half a dozen
> already. So if she didn't, and Juliet is the only one (problems with the
> birth?)
> there's a whole other stressor there, for her mother; she's failed in her
> duty
> to produce the valuable sons. That would tend to make her put even more
> pressure on Juliet - as her mother has to deliver the most value she can
> out
> of her sole child.
>

Yes, Capulet says of Juliet, "The earth hath swallowed all my hopes but
she", which I take to mean that she is his only *surviving* child. How this
came to be so we're not told; whether the other (deceased) offspring were
older than Juliet--perhaps by a previous wife, since the current Mrs.
Capulet is so young--or younger, which would argue some sort of fertility
issue with Mrs. C ... Not that Shakespeare would know anything about Rh
factors, but that sort of thing did happen in his day. I've seen
speculation that that might have been Anne Boleyn's problem, why she was
able to have one perfectly healthy child (Elizabeth) and then couldn't have
any more.


--Margaret Dean
  <margdean56 at gmail.com>


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