Sunday, May 1, 2011

Promus - 15 Romeo and Juliet

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

Part 2i

R&J  Act 2.3.11-18

(In the early morning Friar Lawrence makes his first entry. More may be said later on Friar Lawrence).

Friar L:  O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies
          In plants, herbs, stones, and their true qualities.
          For naught so vile that on the earth doth live
          But to the earth some special good doth give;
          Nor aught so good but, strain'd from that fair use,
          Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse.
          Virtue itself turns vice being misapplied,               [Line 17}
          And vice sometime's by action dignified.

now Promus entry 1337 (Folio 123):

"Quae continent, ut animalia ut plantae et amplius sed non amplius potest esse mali" ['Both animals and plants contain many ample properties, but they cannot be as amply endowed with bad properties"]

Promus entries 168 & 169 (Folio 86B), repeated in Promus 1459, (Folio 128):

"Aliquisque malo fuit usus in illo. Usque adeo latet utilitas: ["And there was some use in that evil. To such a degree does usefulness lie hidden"; from Ovid]

Comment: Shake-Speare's main source for the play, Harold Brooke's long poem on the same story, makes the first of the two points in Lines 17-18. But the second, converse, point is added by Shake-Speare as an extra piece of philosophizing on the lines of Promus 168 & 169. It means that evil sometimes has beneficial consequences. This point is also made in Henry V, 4.1.4-5:

"There is some soul of goodness in things evil
 Would men observingly distil it out;"

No comments:

Post a Comment