The Age of Shakespeare

The Age of Shakespeare

March/April 2022 Issue – The Age of Shakespeare

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Putting Romance and Marriage to the Test in Venice and Verona – Jane Wilkes

Shakespeare’s plays, The Merchant of Venice and Romeo and Juliet both take as their assumption that Christian married love must contain both eros and agape and as such the romantic courtship that precedes marriage is depicted both as a time of compelling desire but also a time of serious discernment by the courting couple to determine if they are capable of that total self-giving love. Portia and Bassanio from The Merchant of Venice prove themselves capable of Messianic agape, both before and after their marriage, while Romeo and Juliet’s courtship is full of desire but empty of sacrifice and their marriage culminates in self-destruction. Thus, the respective forms of the texts of a Romantic Comedy, and the latter a tragedy, reflect the Christian contextual teaching on marriage that the spouses must emulate the spousal love of Christ for his Church.

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About the Author:

Joseph Pearce is a Catholic author and biographer who has written about subjects as various as GK Chesterton, economics, and Shakespeare.

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