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HERMIONE AND JULIET                     195
"Good my lords," she says (turning to the nobles for justification),
"I am not prone to weeping, as our sex Commonly are; the want of which vain dew, Perchance, shall dry your pities-, but I have That honorable grief lodged here which burns Worse than tears drown."
Again, under the brutal treatment of the king, she says:
" I must be patient till the heavens look With an aspect more favorable."
This speech shows Hermione to be a woman of great self-control and dignity, even in the most terrible situation conceivable, and was my clew to her character. Such a creature would be incapable of unbridled excitement or violently expressed emotion even under the greatest pressure. Many, I believe, did not sympathize with my outward calmness in the accusation scene; but I resolved not to give up my conception of the master's text for any stage effect. The common belief that Juliet is merely a sentimental lovelorn maiden seems to me fallacious. From the moment she loves Romeo, Juliet becomes, in my humble opinion, a woman capable of heroic actionsand Tybalts.