Talk:Characters in Romeo and Juliet

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Is the inclusion of Valentine really necessary? He's only mentioned once in the text - in passing on Capulet's invitation list; if it's concluded that we want Valentine on the page after all do we then include Martino, Anselme, Vitruvio's widow, Placentio, Livia, Valentio, Lucio and Helena? What about Petrucio? WHERE DO WE DRAW THE LINE?! Nowah Balloon 10:59, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

  • Agreed. Not a character. Get rid of. No harm in mentioning the unseens in a paragraph at the end, though. AndyJones 12:54, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
    • Sorry, but I disagree. I put him there because I read some analysis about him while researching Rosaline. The only real place to draw the line is at the amount of sources available, as per Wikipedia notability guidelines, and there are sources available about him. Frankly, if there hadn't been any, I wouldn't have added him. Wrad 15:36, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
      • I just added some more about him, along with a ref. There is more to come, but it will have to wait, as I'm hoping to move into a new place today. I also created a new section "Ghost characters" and put him in it. Basically, WP:FICTION says "articles about fictional concepts are notable if they contain substantial real-world content from reliable primary and secondary sources." Valentine has such real world content, therefore he is notable, therefore he deserves a place in wikipedia. The most logical place is this article. Wrad 16:28, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
        • Fair enough. I think he's tolerable in a section on Ghost Characters, but presumably that now needs to mention Petruchio to be complete. Also a word or so at the start of the section explaining what a ghost character is (and therefore why the guy isn't really a character) might be needed. This is the type of article that newbies to using enclyclopedias may want to consult. I think maybe Rosaline needs a mention, also - perhaps with a {main} tag. A character doesn't get more minor than being unseen. AndyJones 17:28, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
          • I am in support of Valentine's mention now that I have seen that there is actually an analysis about him. When I started this discussion there was not a link to one. Good find, Wrad. Nowah Balloon 22:41, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, sorry I didn't get the info up sooner, I've just been busy lately. I'll add a summary of Rosaline when I get the time. Wrad 07:07, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

  • I also noticed yesterday that Lady Capulet doesn't have her own page or a section in this page. I've been meaning to put something up until we can start on a more in-depth analysis, but can't seem to stop putting it off. Urgh. Nowah Balloon 14:02, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Montague-seal.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 23:04, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Lord Capulet[edit]

He isn't listed at all. Did someone accidentally delete him? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:34, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

He has his own article. Wrad (talk) 22:36, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

NOOOOO NT THAT ANY OF US HERE KNOW OF THANK YOU AND STOP BLAMING PEOPLE HE HAS HIS OWN ARTICAL (RESENDEZ 79373) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:13, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Lady Capulet[edit]

Lady Capulet's name is Angelica, but people often misinterperate this and think that the Nurse's name is Angelica (talk) 22:38, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Actually, there is some discussion as to wether 'Angelica' is the Nurse's name or Lady Capulet's.
Act4 scene 4:
[Capulet:]'Come, stir, stir, stir! the second cock hath crowed,
The curfew bell hath rung, tis' three a'clock.
Look to the baked meats, good Angelica,
Spare not for cost.
[Nurse:]Go, you cot-quean, go,
Get you to bed. Faith, you'll be sick tomorrow
For this night's watching.
[Capulet:]No, not a whit. What, I have watched ere now
All night for lesser cause, and ne'er been sick.
[Lady Capulet:]Ay, you have been a mousehunt in your time,
But I will watch you from such watching now.
[Exeunt Lady and Nurse]'
As you can see, the identity of Angelica is open to discussion.--Reimtus (talk) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:58, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

28 (Lady Capulet's age)[edit]

How do we know that Lady Capulet is 28? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:01, 16 November 2008 (UTC) Bold textHELEN MACHLIS —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:23, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

  • We know she's about 28 because Juliet is almost 14, and she tells Juliet "by my count I was your mother much upon these years that you are now a maid" I.iii.71-73. AndyJones (talk) 08:16, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Page to Mercutio[edit]

I haven't found any reference to Mercutio's page in act 3 scene 1 (Mercutio's duel with Tybalt), and I don't believe that any mention of a 'surgeon' is made at all. Has anyone found the quote? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Reimtus (talkcontribs) 18:15, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

MERCUTIO: Where is my page? Go, villain. Fetch a surgeon. (3.1.94) AndyJones (talk) 21:25, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Alternate approaches[edit]

I've looked a bit at this page and had some trouble fitting it to my mental model: it's a bit of neither fish nor fowl. For instance, the list of characters here actually omits the main characters (because those happen to have their own articles). Anyways, I've tried two alternate approaches to this article: overview article and list article. These two are a bit more “standard” in approach (not that that's necessarily in any way relevant here). Please ignore the quality of the text (it's cut&paste from various places; lede or Role in play from character articles, etc.) and the numerous little formatting issues.

What do you think about these approaches? Do either look worth pursuing? Incidentally, for the latter (list) article I had a brief look at some newly Featured List articles, and with a little work it could very well make the bar there, but would probably have to be renamed to List of characters in Romeo and Juliet to be eligible (I think). --Xover (talk) 07:14, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

  • Good work. Yes, both approaches are improvements on what we have now, and you are right, I think, to incorporate the lede from the main article of each major character. Of the two, my preference is for your overview article, which is less quirky and looks like a standard Wikipedia article. AndyJones (talk) 19:40, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
    • Thanks. The list version reflects the fact that this article is kinda listy, and we should seriously consider whether it might not be better suited to a life as List of characters in Romeo and Juliet. But so far I do agree with you that the overview article format is the better one; particularly after we clean up the lede/Role in Play-derived text for each character. What do the rest of you think? Wrad, `you still hang around this article? --Xover (talk) 10:55, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
    • Ok, since Andy is in favour and nobody else seems to be around to object—:-)—I'm going to go ahead and use the overview article variant. Note that the provenance of the text imported is quite… iffy… in places, and could really use a good cleaning up (as could the various articles on individual characters linked to from here!). --Xover (talk) 11:29, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Friar Lawrence[edit]

I'm going to harmonize the spelling, tending towards "Lawrence" as it's the spelling of the linked article. At present it's very nearly fifty-fifty with "Laurence". Suggestions as to which way to go, please?--Old Moonraker (talk) 05:41, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

No objections: done. --Old Moonraker (talk) 06:55, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Second thoughts have appeared at Talk:Romeo and Juliet#Laurence. It looks like my fifty-fifty chance of being right went the wrong way! --Old Moonraker (talk) 08:32, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Fixed--Old Moonraker (talk) 08:39, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

County Paris[edit]

The definitive usage, now explained in Count Paris—"County Paris" is still a redirect—seems to be "County". Until this morning, the definitive usage was in use on this page also. Proposing a rv to the way things were before. --Old Moonraker (talk) 06:31, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Couple of refs added. --Old Moonraker (talk) 16:14, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
I seem to be missing something here. Is there any doubt that Paris is a Count? Is there any particular reason why we should use an archaic spelling, that most readers will be unfamiliar with, based on a variant spelling chosen primarily for metric reasons, in a period when spelling was not yet standardized? I'm pretty sure, though it's been a while since I looked at it, that all the major modern scholarly editions use “Count” (and, truth be told, I can't even recall “County” being noted anywhere).--Xover (talk) 16:53, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
When they read the playtext they will become familiar with it: it's used nineteen times; "count" is used but once (thanks, Kindle). My own "major modern scholarly edition" (Bate) follows this tradition, as does my major, not modern edition (Craig). Hits in Google books: 2500 for "County Paris", 1700 "Count Paris". Google Scholar has strikingly similar proportion: 254 to 171. --Old Moonraker (talk) 17:18, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
I have at least the Oxford edition so I can check what that says later. But I'm genuinely puzzled about what your thrust is here. Are you proposing that we consistently use “County Paris” (or if not, what are you proposing)? And what is your rationale for using it above the plain and obvious choice? --Xover (talk) 18:12, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
Put simply, it's the word used consistently in the text, in all editions: it's the only spelling that can be used or else the metre is damaged. You are correct in saying that it's archaic—the last recorded direct use was in 1848 (OED)—yet there are very many "archaic" word in the canon; readers' possible lack of familiarity shouldn't be a reason to expunge them from the encyclopaedia. If that's a given, then we should have consistency within the article, as we had until yesterday.--Old Moonraker (talk) 21:31, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, I must admit I stand soundly corrected: my Oxford edition(s) of the play (Levenson 2000, 2008) do, indeed, use “County” in the play text, so you are entirely correct on that score. However, in the prologomena she uses “Count Paris”; for example on p.7, which, incidentally, Bate cites on p.116. Also, in the note to 1.2.0 (n., Levenson glosses “County” as “Count, a title of nobility in some European countries, equivalent to the English ‘Earl’…”. Bate and Rasmussen do the same in the RSC edition of the play: the preface uses “Count” but leaves “County” in the play text and glosses it as “County. Count” in the notes (e.g. 1.2n). For me, it thus stands to reason that everywhere we quote from the play text, or otherwise need to care about the metre, we should use the original “County”; but everywhere else, particularly in the main body of article text and in article titles—and even in quoted scene directions—we should use the modernized spelling “Count” that is what will be least unfamiliar to readers, not needlessly archaic, and in line with what at least the Oxford and RSC editions of the play uses (i.e. modern in the Preface, original in play text). I was going to check the Arden as well, but apparently I only borrowed it from the library when we were working on the article, probably because it seems the Arden Third Series edition of it is expected out this year and I didn't want to bother with the older edition (it's getting a bit dated now as I recall), but I would tend to doubt it is very much different from RSC and Oxford (and, indeed, Bate) in this regard. --Xover (talk) 10:13, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'm still interested to hear opinions on what approach would be preferable regarding this issue (unless the matter was hashed out somewhere else and I'm just being ditzy; in which case, I would appreciate a pointer to refresh my memory). --Xover (talk) 20:17, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Sorry: nothing to add. I don't believe that the two articles as they stand, using “Count Paris” as the title, are correct but the explanatory note here “(County Paris in the text)” just about saves it.--Old Moonraker (talk) 20:56, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
But, "County Paris" has now been deleted, again contrary to the cited sources. Needs a fix, preferably back to the original version now that it has been supported with additional refs. --Old Moonraker (talk) 09:16, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, sorry about that. I'm trying to get the editor in question to engage in discussion in the section below, but haven't had much luck so far. This change is one of the edits I fear will have to be reverted unless we can get a meaningfull discussion of the changes. --Xover (talk) 10:21, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
Incidentally, I was hoping more people might chime in on this issue so that we could establish a firm consensus (it potentially has far-reaching implications in terms of naming the article itself, and precedent for other character articles), but it appears not very many people have this article watchlisted. Maybe we should ask WP:BARD to chime in? --Xover (talk) 10:42, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

Rosaline Pronunciation[edit]

Shakespeare rhymes Rosaline's name a lot of times with words that have a long i sound, so by that logic, shouldn't Rosaline's name also end with a long i sound? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:36, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

The Oxford Pronouncing Dictionary supports the pronunciation in the article. I'd like to think that you could be right, based on the rhymes in As you like it Act 3 Scene 2: "If a hart do lack a hind, /Let him seek out Rosalind. /If the cat will after kind, /So, be sure, will Rosalind. /Winter garments must be lined, /So must slender Rosalind", etc, etc., but words that rhymed in C16 might not rhyme today; in today's productions the metre is emphasized at this point to bring out the modern rhyme. I couldn't find an equivalent in R&J; can you say where you mean? --Old Moonraker (talk) 21:05, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

We may not be obliged to pronounce all names as they would normally have been in Shakespeare's day, but that could be a complex issue. I removed the reference to Shakespeare's cast list as, when I actually consulted the original texts e.g. the First Folio, I found that there was no cast list at the start, and characters are not even referred to consistently e.g. you get directions like "Enter Wife and 2. Wife". PatGallacher (talk) 18:52, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

Is the latter part of your comment regarding the text "He and Abram are the only servants mentioned by name in Shakespeare's character list." which you removed from the article, and which you had previously tagged as {{dubious}}? If so, or rather in any case, I'm having trouble following your reasoning here. Is your argument that since there is no dramatis personae for Romeo and Juliet in the First Folio that it's unknowable whether Abram and Balthasar really are the only servants mentioned by name? If so it might help to know that the cast lists have been determined by the critical editions (i.e. Arden Shakespeare, Oxford Shakespeare, New Cambridge Shakespeare, etc.) over the years, the first version of which was the First Folio itself: the List of the Actors was made by the editors rather than, particularly, Shakespeare himself. I haven't checked whether the sentence in question can be supported by one of the critical editions of the play I have to hand, but there's nothing fundamental that prevents that from being so. --Xover (talk) 20:03, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Maybe so, but we need a clear reference. I don't think the First Folio has a cast list, but I will check. PatGallacher (talk) 00:44, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

I have checked the First Folio at Project Gutenberg and it does not have a cast list, it just dives into the opening scene. PatGallacher (talk) 01:47, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

I'm sorry Pat, but I'm having real trouble following your reasoning here; I'm just not grasping what your concern actually is. Could you please elaborate a bit?
If you're looking for a source for the cast list you can have a look at:
  • Levenson, Jill L, ed. (2008). Romeo and Juliet. The Oxford Shakespeare. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199535897. 
--Xover (talk) 12:21, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Not disuputing that the Oxford Shakespeare says that, but this appears to be the work of later editors, not Shakespeare himself.

The whole issue of the "correct" pronunciation of the names of Shakespeare's characters raises several problems, we should refrain from diving in without reliable scholarship. PatGallacher (talk) 16:54, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Pat, I think you need to stop and take a step back here. You're making a series of seemingly arbitrary changes to the article—some of which are against established consensus on the talk page, some of which are content removals that have been challenged on the talk page and on your user talk page—and referring to "see talk" in your edit summaries; meanwhile the changes appear wholly unconnected to the discussion on the talk page. I've also now several times asked you to explain what, precisely your concerns are so that we may address them, but so far you have only repeated that the First Folio (a WP:PRIMARYSOURCE) doesn't contain a character list, which you appear to think supersedes what the reliable secondary sources say (despite exhorting that "we should refrain from diving in without reliable scholarship").
Now I'm sure your reasoning and the concerns are perfectly obvious to you, but so far you haven't made these clear to everyone else. So, please, pause a bit and explain 1) what your specific concerns are, and 2) why you believe this to be a problem, and 3) what you think should be done about it.
To start off with; you tagged the sentence "He and Abram are the only servants mentioned by name in Shakespeare's character list." as dubious, and when I asked you to explain your concern you proceded to remove the sentence entirely with the edit summary "see talk". On the talk page you commented in this section, which is regarding the IPA and proper pronounciation of Rosaline's name (i.e. wholly unrelated). I would like to know what you think the problem is with that sentence, what reasoning leads you to have a problem with it, and what you would like to see done about it (apart from deleting it as you have done previously).
You've also changed the name given for Count Paris in conflict with the consensus on this talk page, and cited a primary source in spite of the several reliable secondary sources already cited (which now no longer support the text in the article), and nowhere have you explained why you made this change or what you thought the problem that prompted it was.
The bold, revert, discuss cycle requires discussion, which right now you're not really engaging in. --Xover (talk) 19:27, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

The First Folio is clearly a reliable source in relation to what it says, I will consult other relevant sources but I think you will probably find that they say the same. The issue of the "correct" pronunciation of character names in Shakespeare is a complex one, my own view is that this is ultimately a matter for the director of a given production. A work about the normal pronunciation in current English does not clinch it, in the absence of discussion of this issue in relation to Shakespeare we should be cautious. PatGallacher (talk) 20:08, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Pat, please read and respond to the points I bring up in the comment above yours; and also please try to be clear as to what issue your are addressing when you comment (was your above comment regarding Rosaline? Balthasar/Abram? A bit of both?). Keep in mind that I don't necessarily disagree with you, I just don't understand what your concern is. Please take the time to spell it out! --Xover (talk) 09:04, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

See <> for the First Quarto, Second Quarto and First Folio versions, the original versions from which all subsequent versions are derived. Although there are differences between them, there are elements in common. The Arden Shakespeare may well be the definitive version for many purposes, but what it is not definitive about is what these original sources say.

There are actually a number of issues here, which I will separate for convenience.

1. Cast list. None of these original versions contains a cast list.

2. Count Paris. All of these original versions call him "Countie Paris", not "County Paris".

3. Pronunciation of Rosaline. It is true that in modern English this would be pronounced "Rosalin" or "Rosaleen", but someone has produced evidence that Shakespeare would have rhymed it with "line". It is a moot point whether there can be said to be a correct or definitive pronunciation of names of Shakespeare's characters, at least in cases where there is an element of doubt. I suggest we avoid going into this in the absence of discussion by Shakespeare scholars. PatGallacher (talk) 12:28, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

A quick glance at the FF title page gives us The Tragedie of Romeo and Ivliet. I suppose it's unfair and a bit shallow of me to compare these spellings, no more than printers' conventions, with the claim, based on the FF spelling, to retain "Countie" in the article text; to me they are equally invalid in modern usage. Please don't see this as a challenge to rename the main R&J article! --Old Moonraker (talk) 14:08, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

I'm not suggesting that we call him "Countie Paris" most of the time, what I am saying is that, if we do say what the original texts call him, we ought to get it right. PatGallacher (talk) 16:56, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

The two explanatory references are referring to edited texts; I know there are very many more saying the same. Why, in this instance, are we using the unedited whim of one of the compositors? Please don't say "it's what Shakespeare wrote": it's what the compositor used and, often, the two are at variance. As Bate puts it in The Case for the Folio (and he supports the edition's accuracy): "Many agencies (the playwright and his collaborators, the actors, the book-keepers and scribes, the compositors and proof-readers) were involved in the creation of what we call a Shakespearean text." The FF text should never be regarded, uncritically, as the poet's unsullied original work; to afford it this status is to allow ourselves to be led by a delusion. The critical attention of editors is always required.
It's a good job we don't apply this standard to WP's Shakespeare articles generally or we'd be in a right mess! I, for one, am glad to work with the texts perfected (or, at least, made comprehensible) after centuries of scholarly interpretation. To insist on doing otherwise seems perverse, or perhaps it's just intellectual snobbery. --Old Moonraker (talk) 20:31, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
--Old Moonraker (talk) 20:31, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

This is a relatively minor point which would be better dealt with in the character's individual article. However in its original form it made unqualified reference to "the text", which anyone who knows a significant amount about Shakespeare scholarship will realise is a very naive statement. PatGallacher (talk) 00:21, 25 April 2012 (UTC)


This is really picky, but Chorus's speech is a sonnet only in Q2; in Q1 it's a "quatrain and two couplets" (The First Quarto of Romeo and Juliet, Erne, 2007, p49, ISBN 0521821215). --Old Moonraker (talk) 06:11, 9 May 2012 (UTC)


Something is wrong with the start — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:36, 9 October 2014 (UTC)