This paper focuses on the creative or de-creative function of names in Romeo and Juliet. The dialectics between name and existence (or non-existence) is constant in the text. Let us consider “What’s in a name?” uttered by Juliet in 2.2; or the repetition of “banished” (3.2) where Romeo declares that death is in that word; or “Art thou a man?” (Friar, 3.3) that expands the meaning of man from legal to illegal entity; or also, and foremost, when Capulet threatens Juliet “I’ll ne’er acknowledge thee” (3.5), thus depriving her of legal personhood. Names can create a human being into a social being or they can deprive him of social existence. In addition to this we have Capulet’s power over Juliet which entails the problem of patria potestas: in his wish to deprive Juliet of the family name he de-creates her as a social being but also prevents her from becoming an independent adult.

Romeo and Juliet: The Importance of a Name

CARPI, Daniela
2015-01-01

Abstract

This paper focuses on the creative or de-creative function of names in Romeo and Juliet. The dialectics between name and existence (or non-existence) is constant in the text. Let us consider “What’s in a name?” uttered by Juliet in 2.2; or the repetition of “banished” (3.2) where Romeo declares that death is in that word; or “Art thou a man?” (Friar, 3.3) that expands the meaning of man from legal to illegal entity; or also, and foremost, when Capulet threatens Juliet “I’ll ne’er acknowledge thee” (3.5), thus depriving her of legal personhood. Names can create a human being into a social being or they can deprive him of social existence. In addition to this we have Capulet’s power over Juliet which entails the problem of patria potestas: in his wish to deprive Juliet of the family name he de-creates her as a social being but also prevents her from becoming an independent adult.
Shakespeare; Romeo and Juliet; Renaissance; Patria potestas; name
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/912194
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