Jeremy Smith, "Music, Death, and 'Uncomfortable Time': William Byrd’s O that most rare breast and Shakespeare’s "Excellent Conceited Tragedy" of Romeo and Juliet"

Jeremy Smith, "Music, Death, and 'Uncomfortable Time': Willi...

CMRS Lecture Series

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Arguably few playgoers today are aware that Act 4 of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet ends with musicians engaging in badinage with a clown. Treated generally as superfluous or insignificant, the Peter and the Musicians scene is now cut more often than not. Yet Shakespeare must have had some larger dramatic purpose for it in mind, as the same musicians appear as spectators in the preceding "false lamentations" scene, where key characters mistakenly...
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Arguably few playgoers today are aware that Act 4 of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet ends with musicians engaging in badinage with a clown. Treated generally as superfluous or insignificant, the Peter and the Musicians scene is now cut more often than not. Yet Shakespeare must have had some larger dramatic purpose for it in mind, as the same musicians appear as spectators in the preceding "false lamentations" scene, where key characters mistakenly...
Read More