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“‘On my word’: Trust and the Word in Romeo and Juliet”

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Abstract: Romeo and Juliet is a play that seems fascinated with the status of words and their substantive value. Over and over again the question is raised whether the meanings of words can be trusted or, more importantly, whether the one who utters them can be trusted. This repeated focus — famously culminating in Juliet’s “What’s in a name?”—is keyed to wider philosophical debates that underpinned many of the Reformation disputes that were so important at the time. Indeed, the playwright’s handling of this theme suggests the play could be his oblique contribution to these debates, a contribution that tied trust and the word to the same conditions of performance that were so familiar to him on the stage.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEtudes Anglaises
Pages (from-to)409-423
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019
EventTrust and Risk in Literature - Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
Duration: 29 Apr 20161 May 2016


ConferenceTrust and Risk in Literature
LocationAarhus University
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Vol. 71, 2018/4

    Research areas

  • Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare, Luther, Erasmus, the Word

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