Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither

Quickly now, say this: 

“Thank me no thankings and proud me no prouds. But fettle your fine joints against Thursday next and go with Paris to St. Peter’s church. Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither. Out, green carrion sickness! Out you baggage! You tallow face!”

You get the idea. I have some tongue twisters with the role of Capulet, but by far the worst is “hurdle thither.” I can pronounce each word fairly well by itself, but the triple axel spin backward camel combination of the “hurdle” followed immediately by the “thither” makes me sound like I have a lisp.

Capulet is a tricky role. His character appears throughout the play and unlike most of the other characters, he interacts with everyone. He starts out trying to fight Montague before being taken to the woodshed by the Prince. He later becomes a party host inviting the masked members of the Montague family to have fun at his party, and then confronts his own clan members who want to fight. He quickly changes gear and cunningly hits up Paris to marry Juliet and then, in the big scene, berates Juliet for her refusal to marry Paris and threatens to abandon her forever to “hang, beg, steal and die in the streets, for by my soul, I shall never acknowledge thee.”

Nice guy, huh? Well, he’s not all bad; he does utter the coda, “Poor sacrifices of our enmity” referring to the deaths of Romeo, Juliet and Paris.

Capulet is traditionally played as a rather one-dimensional authoritative brutish fellow, bent only on marrying Juliet to Paris to advance his own wealth and social standing. The Director is allowing me to develop him more humanely. In my interpretation, Capulet remains flawed in his own pride, but his actions are driven by his intense love for his daughter Juliet and his need to protect her, even to the point where he risks losing her forever.

This is still a work in progress. No word yet on the codpiece. I will keep you posted.

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