Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    joham is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,617

    lovers take their life

    In this sentence of Shakespeare "A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life", I'm puzzled why 'life', rather than 'lives', is used.

    Could you help me out? Thank you very much.

  2. #2
    beascarpetta's Avatar
    beascarpetta is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Great Britain
      • Current Location:
      • Austria
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,331

    Re: lovers take their life

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    In this sentence of Shakespeare "A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life", I'm puzzled why 'life', rather than 'lives', is used.

    Could you help me out? Thank you very much.
    I think you would have to see this singular as connected to the rhyme two lines below

    A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
    Whole misadventured piteous overthrows
    Do with their death bury their parents' strife.

    You might go there for further literary analysis
    Last edited by beascarpetta; 16-Mar-2008 at 09:59.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5,403

    Re: lovers take their life

    I think he uses the singular because they didn't purposefully plan to die together, as in some suicide pact, nor even die at the same time. First Romeo kills himself because he thinks Juliet is dead; and then Juiiet kills herself because Romeo is dead. It emphasizes that they each 'took their life' separately, each took his/her own life.
    Also, poetically, 'life' has more impact because it suggests more the spark of life that is snuffed out, whereas 'lives' carries with it the idea of all their life circumstances, all the manner in which they had been living and what they left behind.
    Last edited by David L.; 16-Mar-2008 at 10:28.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •