Sunday, August 2, 2015

281 Quiz Answer


In Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” Paris isn’t a place; it’s a he.  He is handsome and wealthy and a member of the nobility - he’s Count Paris – and an eager suitor of Juliet.  However, she prefers Romeo.
(Also for Three Word Wednesday and ABC Wednesday: "D" is for "drama")

It would appear that Will Shakespeare never visited Europe.

A claim has been made that he actually did make the trip across the Channel as a soldier. 

A book, “Sergeant Shakespeare,” was written to support this theory, in which the playwright was a feisty non-com in the army, involved in the filth of one of the many wars fought on the continent.  But there is little – (none, actually) – evidence to support such a claim.

However, though he never visited such places, most of his plays are set in foreign locales.  In some cases he lets us know right up front where the action will be taking place.  You can be pretty sure “The Merchant of Venice,” for example, is not set in Barcelona, and you have the feeling, when you come across the play titled “Timon of Athens,” that you know just which town Timon used to hang out in.

Even back in Britain Will could be specific as to setting.  “Merry Wives of Windsor,” anyone?

Surely the work titled “Romeo and Juliet,” set in Verona, Italy, is one of the best of the Shakespeare dramas.  I traveled to Verona once, while I was wandering about Europe, and I got to see what was claimed to be the actual balcony where Romeo spotted the Capulet girl.

It is the east and Juliet is the sun!  See how she leans her cheek upon her hand.  O that I were a glove upon that hand, that I might touch that cheek!”


The Veronese folks there tried to convince us addicted tourists that it was the real balcony of the play, and we pretended to believe them.

But of course it wasn’t.

There’s something kind of funny about Shakespeare’s handling of these overseas settings.  He defiantly makes no effort to present dialects or accents. 

In the plays, wherever we may be in Will’s foreign world, we have the feeling we’re back in his real world, Elizabethan England.  And the foreigners, where’er they’re from, all talk pretty much the same.    

Cyprus, for example, is an exotic locale for one of his plays.  But a Cypriot gentleman speaks like a chap from Warwickshire, where Will was raised.

Which brings us to our question for this week: Though “Romeo and Juliet” is set in Verona, how is it that Paris is so important in the play?
 

(The answer will be posted Saturday.)

31 comments:

Karen S. said...

Ah yes, because this Paris is a character in the play. Extremely important as he hoped to be the one man to marry Juliet!

Berowne said...

Karen S leads us off! She's the first with the right answer.

Kathe W. said...

Because Paris was one of Juliet's suitors.

Gail said...

I always learn so much here. Thank you.

Altonian said...

Paris was a young man, enamoured of Juliet, who wanted to marry her.

Helen said...

Juliet's father would have preferred she marry Paris, a friend of the Capulet family.

naturgesetz said...

I thought he banished Romeo from Verona, but I discovered I was wrong when I checked to see whose death was the immediate occasion of the banishment.

Other Mary said...

Paris is a character in the play, related to Romeo also interested in Jules.

Berowne said...

A group of "winners!" Kathe W, Altonian, Helen and Other Mary all have the correct answer.

Truedessa said...

I believe Juliet had a suitor named Paris..glad she followed her heart to Romeo even though their love was tragic.

kaykuala said...

Reference was not to the city but a character in the play, a suitor to Juliet.

Hank

Ira PT said...

Your posts take the interactions with books to a higher level...

Berowne said...

The right answer has just come in from Truedessa and kaykuala.

cifar shayar said...

nice informative post, don't know the answer

Bubbles

Old Egg said...

Paris was a Greek character in the Trojan war saga and could be regarded as a bad omen if he is around. Possibly his namesake courting of Juliet before Romeo came on the scene could have been that ill omen for couple too.

Berowne said...

Old Egg has just stepped up with the correct answer.

Leslie: said...

I think he's making fun of the French because of their pomposity.

Leslie
abcw team

Trubes said...

Paris was a suitor of Juliet, much against her wishes.
Her family, the Capulets wanted her to marry him.
Paris was a kinsman of the Prince.

Is this the Paris you are alluding to ?

Best wishes Di.
ABCW team.

Roger Owen Green said...

i assume you are referring to the CHARACTER Paris, who woos Juliet and is later slain by Romeo.

Berowne said...

Two more with the right answer: Trubes and Roger Owen Green.

Bekkie Sanchez said...

OMG! I got it last week! Amazing! This week...they were planning to run away to Paris? Probably not. Enjoy your week!

Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil said...

Ha! Paris the person, not the location. Didn't he have his sights set on Juliet before Romeo came in and did "that voodoo that you do so well?" Amy

Lmkazmierczak said...

Clueless here, but I enjoyed reading your analysis...always learn something♪ http://lauriekazmierczak.com/deconstruction/

Berowne said...

The Sharp Little Pencil, sharp as ever, has the correct answer.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

I applaud all those who have the correct answer so far. Like several others, I too am clueless, and will be relieved when you finally post the answer.

Berowne said...

I have a feeling that Berowne, a notorious con man, is trying to pull a bit of a fast one this week...

Sheilagh Lee said...

Paris is the alternative to Romeo after all he wants to be her fiance betrothed to her by her parents. He presents not a romantic as Romeo but a duller alternative

Berowne said...

The right answer has just arrived from Sheilagh Lee.

tulika singh said...

Is that a reference to Count Paris who Juliet was supposed to get married to?

Berowne said...

Tulika Singh also has the correct answer.

Cressida de Nova said...

All sounds very Greek to me:)
I imagine this would be a play with a lot of Greek and Italian names in it...filled with volatile over the top drama.As for the name of the play, it is absolutely not the Merchant of Venice:)

 
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