Kwize MasterIn this very famous line from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Juliet expresses the dilemma she must face : Romeo is the only one she loves, but Romeo is also the only one she can’t love because of the hate that drives their respective families, the Montagues and the Capulets.
This sentence is still today one of the most romantic symbols of impossible love.
Juliet asks Romeo to deny his own identity, as she thinks this is the only obstacle to their union. The line contrasts their common desire and the social stress due to their birth. This replica highlights the Gordian knot of the plot, which drive them to a desperate search to reconcile the irreconcilable and will lead them to the final disaster.
edurleI find it interesting to compare these lines with the later Cartesian principle of “cogito ergo sum”. This can be seen as an emotional counterpart of the cogito, a kind of “amo ergo sum”. If we can doubt all physical realities, we cannot doubt the reality of feelings.
Kwize MasterThis line is from Hamlet’s love letter to Ophelia. It is read by Lord Polonius, Ophelia’s father, who is opposed to this idyll. Hamlet tries to bring Ophelia to consider his feelings as more truthful than the laws of Nature themselves. These laws of Nature were at that time challenged by the Copernican revolution. For 50 years, Copernicus and other astronomers have tried to build a model of the universe radically different from traditional beliefs, a model that we call today the heliocentric model. On the contrary, Hamlet’s love is not suffering from any uncertainty.