I saw Romeo and Juliet last night (Brussels Shakespeare Society; set in a night club; I enjoyed it). It was stuffed full of lines I didn’t know were in the play and hardly knew were Shakespeare. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” is spoken by Juliet, talking about being a Capulet loving Romeo, a Montague:
‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
I like the “what’s Montague?” part as a complement tomYuval Noah Harari talking about how it is “fictions” like money and countries that let us live together in our millions. Here the fiction divides.
The main thing I took away from the play though – all the more so because of its young cast – was how daft teenagers can be.