Question : Weddings in Shakespeare?

Ok, crew.  Maybe this is lazy but I like to think of it as research. :)  I need a list of the plays that have the most positive messages about marriage.  Does that make sense?  They don’t have to have a wedding in them (most of the plays don’t, at least not on stage), but anything “pro-wedding” counts. For instance I’ve got Much Ado, As You Like It, Midsummer.  But also The Tempest, because of Prospero’s conjuring of spirits to bless Miranda and Ferdinand.  Taming of the Shrew is debatably “pro marriage”, but I’m counting it. I would not on the other hand count something like Hamlet – technically the marriage between Gertrude and Claudius is a plot point, but I wouldn’t exactly call it “pro”.  You know, what with Hamlet shouting “We will have no more marriages!” and all that. Which others? I want to make sure I’m not missing any.

10 thoughts on “Question : Weddings in Shakespeare?

  1. yeah. I figured that was what you meant. I just never really think of either of those couples as positive relationships. Portia injures herself because Brutus wont talk to her and Caesar wont listen to Calpurnia because he is worried about his image.

    I do agree about Antigonus and Paulina. They were awesome until a bear came between them.

  2. To a greater or lesser extent, and given the nuances of interpretation, I'd add Merry Wives, Twelfth Night, Love's Labours Lost, Cymbeline,and Winter's Tale. Maybe even Julius Caesar

  3. Actually, I just watched a rehearsal for Maccers where Mac and Lady M looked like they were really in love. It was kinda cute, with the exception of the killing and insanity.

  4. Monica, I'm thinking (outside the box, perhaps)about the love between Brutus and Portia, and perhaps even Calpurnia's concern for Caesar.

    Just as the marriages in the comedies are often not necessarily candidates for "happily ever afterism," there are examples in other unexpected places of marriages that seem based on deep and abiding love. Antigonus and Paulina of The Winter's Tale are another such example.

  5. You could also add Richard III. Not because of the Richard-Anne-Plot obviously, but the end of the play foreshadows the wedding of Richmond and Elizabeth.

    O, now let Richmond and Elizabeth,/ The true succeeders of each royal house,/ By God's fair ordinance conjoin together;/ And let their heirs, God, if Thy will be so,/ Enrich the time to come with smooth-faced peace,/ With smiling plenty and fair prosperous days. (5.5.29-34)

    This adds a political and historical twist to the marriage-topic, because it is their marriage that will finally end the civil war and join the houses of York and Lancaster.

    You could then also draw attention to Loncraine's film version where the marriage is actually shown and in which Richmond and Elizabeth seem to be really in love.

  6. I was wondering why the conversation was straying off topic toward good marriages, then re-read what I'd written and see the problem. The question is about weddings – the planning, the ceremony, the after party. The only reason I included "positive about marriage" in there was to clarify that something like Hamlet, where the wedding/marriage between Gertrude+Claudius was not seen as a good thing, would not be what I'm looking for. I'm not as interested in "this couple that's been married for a long time have a good relationship." I need more of "this could is getting married / got married / gets married, and that's a good thing."

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