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|The Shakespeare Onion
Written by Margaret S
(5/7/2007 9:47 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, I think we agree..., penned by Maria Liourdi
You may be able to find Shakespearean subtexts in P&P, but that is not the point I was making. I was saying that Darcy intentionally paraphrases a famous line from “Twelfth Night”. Sure, he replaces music with poetry, but the idea remains intact.
When Elizabeth inquires “I wonder who first discovered the efficacy of poetry in driving away love!" Darcy answers "I have been used to consider poetry as the food of love,". If you are not familiar with the reference it sounds as though he is contradicting her by suggesting that poetry is necessary for love. However, considering the following:
If music be the food of love, play on;
Darcy is agreeing with Elizabeth by invoking lines from a character who wishes music would drive away love.
I don’t know what to make of Elizabeth’s reply. To me it doesn’t seem like she caught the reference – she seems to be replying to him as if he has contradicted her. Perhaps this is a proof that she is not a great reader. I think Elizabeth should be well read enough to catch a Shakespeare reference, but I just don’t see it in her reply.
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