Sunday, May 1, 2011

Promus - 10 Romeo and Juliet - O brawling love, O loving hate

Part 2 - Parallels between Bacon's Promus and Romeo and Juliet
(with special emphasis on Promus Folio 112)

Part 2d

R&J  Act 1.1.171-7

(This continues Romeo's passage from previous post. Part of this has been posted previously in a different parallel. Romeo says:)

"Where shall we dine? O me! What fray was here ?
Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all.
Here's much to do with hate, but more with love.
Why then, O brawling love, O loving hate,
O anything of nothing first create [created]!
O heavy lightness, serious vanity,
Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms"!

Bacon's Promus entry 983 (in Folio 103B)

Ama tanquam osurus oderis tanquam amaturus ["Love as if you were some day likely to hate. Hate as if you were some day likely to love", from Adagia 379]

Comment:  This presumably means: "If you love or hate, do so moderately". Shake-Speare does not use this particular paradox about love and hate (except for "Love moderately" in Act 2, 6.14 of Romeo and Juliet), but he does use two similar ones in this play. One is "O brawling love, O loving hate", just quoted. Love and hate are mixed up in Romeo's mind because he loves Rosaline but, as a Montague himself, hates her family, the Capulets. In Act 1.5.137 Juliet describes Romeo for the same reason as "My only love sprung from my only hate". Line 177 echoes Bacon's "Chaos is without form" (this is discussed further in a March posting on Love and Chaos). The whole passage, with its reference to love, creation and chaos, reflects a mythological doctrine which Bacon states as follows in his Of Principles and Origins: "They say that this love was the most ancient of the gods and therefore of all things else, except Chaos which they hold to be coeval with him. He is without any parent of his own but himself, united with Chaos, begat the gods and all things".  A glance at this doctrine is made by another Promus entry:

Promus entry 802 (from Folio 100)

"Older than chaos" [from Antiquior quam chaos, Adagia 573]


R&J Act 1.1.190

[Love] Being vex'd, [is] a sea nourished with lovers' tears;

Bacon Promus entry 178 (from Folio 86B)

"L'aqua va al mar" [Water goes to the sea"]


R&J  Act 1.1.191-2

"What is it [Love] else? A madness most discreet,
A choking gall, and a preserving sweet".

Bacon's Promus entry 571 (from Folio 94B)

"Beware of the vinegar of sweet wine"

Comment: A commonplace. Likewise, in Act 1.5.90-1 Tybalt, fuming over Romeo's intrusion into the Capulet Ball, says: "This intrusion shall / Now seeming sweet, convert to bitt'rest gall".

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