Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Shakespeare's Representation of Weather, Climate and EnvironmentThe Early Modern 'Fated Sky'$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Sophie Chiari

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474442527

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474442527.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

‘[T]he fire is grown too hot!’: Romeo and Juliet and the Dog Days

‘[T]he fire is grown too hot!’: Romeo and Juliet and the Dog Days

Chapter:
(p.57) Chapter 2 ‘[T]he fire is grown too hot!’: Romeo and Juliet and the Dog Days
Source:
Shakespeare's Representation of Weather, Climate and Environment
Author(s):

Sophie Chiari

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474442527.003.0003

In Romeo and Juliet (1595-96), weather and humoural determinism play a central role with the background references to the dog days that may, up to a certain extent, be held responsible for both plague and misrule so that, beyond bad luck or misfortune, the influence of the stars turns out to be preponderant in the lovers’ fate. In such a context, the play’s heavenly signs take on an importance almost equal to that of the earthly events, to the point that heat may be considered as a major actor in the tragedy. As an anagram of ‘hate’, ‘heat’ overdetermines the climate of the play. Both words foreshadow the flare up of violence in Verona, leading Romeo and Juliet to be trapped in an overall astronomical, humoural, and climatic pattern giving them virtually no chance to escape the stifling air of Verona. Besides, the chapter suggests that light and lightning, omnipresent in the tragedy, also emphasise the violence of passions and reinforce the inevitability of the lovers’ final death march inscribed in the sonnet prologue.

Keywords:   Romeo and Juliet, stars, dog days, heat, earthquake, plague, Sirius

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.