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Monday, January 20, 2014


Just been re-reading Romeo and Juliet and realised that under present law Romeo would be arrested for child molestation. He is clearly considerably older than Juliet (in his late teens - old enough to be banished). Though in the original source of the play Juliet is 16, Shakespeare makes her 13, going on 14 – the age of Nabokov’s Lolita!  When she wakes after their wedding night it’s quite clear that she has been well and truly, um, made love to. Incidentally, Juliet’s nurse, always portrayed as an old or at least middle-aged woman, is only 26 – and she lost her maidenhead at 12. What a fun place Verona must have been! I suppose one of the youngest Juliets was Olivia Hussey in Zeffirelli’s film (15). Leonardo Di Caprio’s Juliet looks about 18. No producer would dare to show the play as Shakespeare obviously intended . . . but why did he make Juliet so young? Was the boy actor who first played her particularly young?  

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