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|Reference to Shakespeare
Written by Elizabeth K
(4/13/2010 6:31 a.m.)
"Of a fine, stout, healthy love it may. Everything nourishes what is strong already. But if it be only a slight, thin sort of inclination, I am convinced that one good sonnet will starve it entirely away."
Darcy only smiled; and the general pause which ensued made Elizabeth tremble lest her mother should be exposing herself again. She longed to speak, but could think of nothing to say;" (ch. 9)
The highlighted section is a reference to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, “If music be the food of love play on”, (Act I, scene I). I think that Elizabeth is conscious of the Shakespearean reference as she mentions sonnets in her answer to Mr. Darcy, and Shakespeare is renowned for his love sonnets.
I like the last line in the passage I quoted as it is yet another example of JA’s wonderful knowledge of human nature. In an uncomfortable situation, we often want to say something to avert the awkwardness but usually we cannot think of anything or end up saying something silly and then adding to the unease!
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