lettersiarrange
Romeo can’t really be blamed for Ophelia’s death.

Senior English major on a Shakespeare final. (via minininny)

WELL THEY’RE NOT WRONG

——

How about this, though?

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[Editorial Note: This “theory” depends on believing the Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet take place contemporaneously. So, for the sake of argument, let’s all agree that the events of both plays occur in the Spring of 1517 (chosen because of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, and the Reformational threads that run through Hamlet).]

See, in the Second Quarto and First Folio versions of Romeo and Juliet, a[n extremely minor] character appears with Romeo, Mercutio, and Benvolio at the Capulet’s Party (where, if you recall, Romeo meets Juliet for the first time).

Like Hamlet's Horatio, this Horatio is full of well-worded philosophical advice. He tells Romeo “And to sink in it should you burden love, too great oppression for a tender thing.”

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Fig. 1 - Second Quarto Printing

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Fig. 2 - First Folio Printing

[The American Shakespeare Center’s Education Blog discusses the likely “real” reasons for Horatio’s presence]

Let’s imagine that Horatio has travelled down from Wittenberg (about 540 miles) to Verona for his Spring Break. He hears about some guys who like to party (because, let’s be honest, besides getting stabbed, partying is Mercutio’s main thing). So, he ends up crashing the Capulet’s ball with them.

He is then on the sidelines as Romeo and Juliet fall in love, Tybalt kills Mercutio, Romeo kills Tybalt, Romeo gets banished, and both lovers are found dead in Juliet’s tomb.

This tragedy fresh in his mind, he returns to Wittenberg at the end of what has turned out to be a decidedly un-radical Spring Break and discovers that his bestie Prince Hamlet is leaving for Elsinore Castle because he’s just gotten news that his father, the King, is dead.

On the trip up (another ~375 miles), Horatio recounts the tragic romance he just witnessed in Verona. He advises (as he is wont to do) Hamlet not to mix love and revenge.

Hamlet takes Horatio’s advice to heart, breaking up with Ophelia so that he can focus is energy on discovering and punishing his father’s killer:

HAMLET
Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will sooner
transform honesty from what it is to a bawd than the
force of honesty can translate beauty into his
likeness: this was sometime a paradox, but now the
time gives it proof. I did love you once.

OPHELIA

Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so.

HAMLET

You should not have believed me; for virtue cannot
so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it: I loved you not.

Ophelia - burdened by the perceived loss of Hamlet’s love and his murder of her father - goes mad and drowns herself.

You see, if Romeo had waited literally a minute and thirty seconds longer (31 iambic pentametrical lines) - he, Juliet, Ophelia (and possibly the rest of the Hamlet characters) would have made it.

* With thanks to roguebelle.

(via thefeminineending)

Buncha fuckin nerds in this town.

(via moriartini)

The Hamratiophelia Conspiracy Theory ftw

(via zahnie)

macbeth-pro
To turn Javert, the tenacious respecter of authority, ‘that savage in the service of civilization’, into the villain of the piece is to deprive the novel of its dynamite, to point the finger at a single policeman instead of at the system he serves.

Victor Hugo, Graham Robb (via hernaniste)

I think I’ve reblogged this before, but it bears repeating as it’s such an important point - to single out Javert and make him the villain is to miss Hugo’s point about the entire system (legal, cultural etc) that he serves. As I’ve said before, when you take his treatment of Fantine, for example, it would not have found general condemnation…no one sought to take her part aside from Valjean, because not only did Javert think she deserved that treatment, so too did those who witnessed the Bamatabois incident. Javert isn’t an aberration, he isn’t solely culpable, he is only a part of what is “by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation, which, in the face of civilization, artificially creates hells on earth”.

(via edwarddespard)

not-craven-raven

sassacrass:

ahealthyearth:

”The God Graveyard old gods that have been worshiped throughout our history but are no longer prayed to. How many more will be thrown into the wind?”

Belief and God have their place. But if you make them a central part of your life then you’d inevitably run into problems. Seeing truth - accepting what reality gives us - and not bending it to your fears will produce a mind that is free. And Freedom is the birthplace of equality, love and happiness.  

American Gods!