Elizabeth Mansfield/Revising Shakespeare
In Elizabeth Mansfield's Matched Pairs, the
not-so-star-crossed pair of Juliet and Tristan try to oppose their
mothers' plans to force them into the betrothal made when they were
babies. They are as at odds as lovers as thei mixed names suggest.
Moreover, Mansfield calls attention to that mismatch when Juliet
exclaims to Tristan, "'Juliet is bad enough. What would you have done
if your Mama had named you Romeo?'" Tris responds immediately, "Romeo!
I'd have been laughed out of school!" (3). Mansfield invokes Romeo
and Juliet but always to turn it on its head. The one of the mothers
who have arranged the match laments to the other that she "should have
played Capulet to your Montague" in order in insure the match (24).
Juliet herself moves well away from the romance of Romeo and Juliet into
the role of Macbeth when she finally steels herself to tell her mother
she cannot go through the betrothal to Tris: If it were done when 'tis done, 'twere best It were done quickly. Juliet quoted those
lines of Shakespeare to herself as she walked home. She would take Mr.
Shakespeare's advice and do the deed quickly" (159). As definitive as
her decision is her shift of play in freeing her from the alliance
neither Tris nor she wants.
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