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asked 12 May '11, 22:08

ShakespeareGeek's gravatar image

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Modern editions 'normalize' the capitals in the plays, as they do the spellings . In the Folio, "Love" is capitalized twice in Mercutio's line, as it is very many times in the play; as is "Lover", "Beloved"' the possessive "Love's sweet bait...", etc. What this means, exactly, is up for analysis, as is whether or not it was Shakespeare's intent. "Hitting the mark" also has a very possible sexual connotation. And we know how much Mercutio likes to pun on sex. Directly after the love is blind line, as part of the same speech, he goes on to talk about medlars and Poprin Peares, both puns on genitalia.


answered 12 Nov '11, 13:30

Burbage's gravatar image

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You may be thinking of this passage, when Benvolio and Mercutio are looking for Romeo after the Capulet party (where he met Juliet):


Come, he hath hid himself among these trees,
To be consorted with the humorous night:
Blind is his love and best befits the dark.


If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark.

At this point, all they know is that Romeo was completely head over heels in love with Rosaline, a woman that he could not have. Benvolio uses blind to mean "he's so into Rosaline that he can't see anything (or anybody) else anyway, so he might as well sit here in the dark." Mercutio's analogy is a little more realistic, and by "hitting the mark" he's hinting at the idea of Cupid's arrow (although if he meant that specifically Shakespeare would have written Love with a capital L to signify the god of Love). To "hit the mark" is a way to say "get it right". So what Mercutio's saying is that for Romeo to be so blindly in love with Rosaline really just means that he's going to miss the whole point of what being in love is all about. He's not really in love, he just thinks he's in love.

The irony here is that they do not realize Romeo has met Juliet, and now he does have his eyes opened to what love is really all about.


answered 02 Jun '11, 09:16

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Asked: 12 May '11, 22:08

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Last updated: 12 Nov '11, 13:30

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