be but sworn my love

nkaper

Senior Member
russian
No Fear Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet: Act 2, Scene 2, Page 2

Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

(modern: Or else, if you won’t change your name, just swear you love me and I’ll stop being a Capulet.)

Does it mean "be but my sworn love"? Why there is the inversion in original? Can one sometimes (maybe in poetry) invert a pronoun and an adjective, like instead of "I like my new shoes" say "I like new my shoes" ?
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    All sorts of things are possible in poetic language, but no, I don't see this as 'my sworn love'. 'Sworn' is a past participle attached to imperative 'be': 'be sworn', that is do it, swear, have it sworn, let it be sworn. Have what sworn? Have it sworn that thou art my love. Be sworn my love = Be sworn as my love.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    "Nofearshakespeare", the page you link to, gives the modern version: Or else, if you won’t change your name, just swear you love me and I’ll stop being a Capulet.

    be = imperative of to be
    but
    = instead; merely; only; just
    sworn = promised; committed
    my love
    , = my girlfriend
     
    Last edited:
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