Friday, July 19, 2019

Placebo and Justinus :: Papers

Placebo and Justinus After discussing the dangers and advantages of marrying young women, January asks friends for advice. Placebo [Latin, "I will please"] flatters him, telling him he is right to marry a young woman. Justinus [L. "just one"] warns him of the dangers he risks and counsels him not to marry, based on his own experience as a married man. January does what he wants, in the end, and suffers for it. Their speeches are almost a little play about bad and good advice. Are they played for satiric/comic effect, or do they seem to tend toward tragedy? Especially note the way January responds to their advice (IV.1566-1571). January then discussed his problem with his friends and expressed his desire to marry a very young maiden of not more than twenty years old. This led to a great debate and a dispute between the Knight’s brothers named Placebo and Justinus. While Placebo told January to take his own decision without taking anybody’s opinion into consideration, Justinus counseled against marriage since women are fickle. January then decided to get married. January, wished to have a young wife of no older than thirty, for a young wife would be more pliable, but Placebo warned him that it takes great courage for such an aged man to take a young wife. He warned him of the misery that can come from taking a wife, for she could be shrewish or a drunkard, facts that a husband will not learn until well into the marriage. Despite the common opinion that Placebo has a wonderful wife, he knows what faults she has. They argue about the merits of marriage, with Placebo predicting that January will not please his wife for more than three years, but Placebo eventually assents to January's plan. January finally decided to take a young and pretty wife, foolishly believing that nobody would find fault with his choice. He spoke to Placebo and his friends about his choice, praising his intended wife. January, however, worries that a man who finds

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