petak, 09.02.2007.


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ROME, Italy (AP) -- It could be humanity's oldest story of doomed love.
Archaeologists have unearthed two skeletons from the Neolithic period locked in a tender embrace and buried outside Mantua. The site is just 25 miles south of Verona, the romantic city where Shakespeare set the star-crossed tale of "Romeo and Juliet."
Buried between 5,000 and 6,000 years ago, the prehistoric pair are believed to have been a man and a woman and are thought to have died young, as their teeth were found intact, said Elena Menotti, the archaeologist who led the dig.
"As far as we know, it's unique," Menotti told The Associated Press by telephone from Milan. "Double burials from the Neolithic are unheard of, and these are even hugging."
The burial site was located Monday during construction work for a factory building in the outskirts of Mantua. Alongside the couple, archaeologists found flint tools, including arrowheads and a knife, Menotti said.
Experts will now study the artifacts and the skeletons to determine the burial site's age and how old the two were when they died, she said.
Although the Mantua pair strike a rare and touching pose, archaeologists have found prehistoric burials in which the dead hold hands or have other contact, said Luca Bondioli, an anthropologist at Rome's National Prehistoric and Ethnographic Museum.
The find has "more of an emotional than a scientific value." But it does highlight how the relationship people have with each other and with death has not changed much from the period in which humanity first settled in villages, learning to farm the land and tame animals, he said.
"The Neolithic is a very formative period for our society," he said. "It was when the roots of our religious sentiment were formed."
The two bodies, which cuddle closely while facing each other on their sides, were probably buried at the same time, an indication of a possible sudden and tragic death, Bondioli said.
"It's rare for two young people to die at the same time, and that makes us want to know why and who they were, but it will be very difficult to find out."
He said DNA testing could determine whether the two were related, "but that still leaves other hypotheses; the Romeo and Juliet possibility is just one of many."

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'I'd Rather Go Blind' lyrics by ETTA JAMES

Something told me it was over
when I saw you and her talking,
Something deep down in my soul said, ´Cry Girl´,
when I saw you and that girl, walking out.
I would rather, I would rather go blind boy,
Than to see you, walk away from me child, and all.
Ooooo So you see, I love you so much
That I don't want to watch you leave me baby,
Most of all, I just don't, I just don't want to be free no

I was just, I was just, I was just sitting here thinking
Of your kisses and your warm embrace, yeah,
When the reflection in the glass that I held to my lips now baby,
Revealed the tears that was on my face, yeah.
And baby, baby, I would rather be blind boy
Than to see you walk away, see you walk away from me, yeah
Baby, baby, baby, I'd rather be blind now

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Yea, noise? then I'll be brief. O happy dagger!

Snatching ROMEO's dagger

This is thy sheath;

Stabs herself

there rust, and let me die.

Falls on ROMEO's body, and dies

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* Star-crossed lovers

"Star-crossed" or "star-crossed lovers" is a reference to those who fight against (or cross) their fate, which is written in the stars. The phrase is first recorded by William Shakespeare in his play Romeo and Juliet.


Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;

It also refers to destiny and the inevitability of the two characters' paths crossing each other. It also usually means unlucky, since Romeo and Juliet's affair ended tragically. During Shakespeare's time, there was a great belief in the Hierarchy of Being, promoted extensively by the church, and this would be considered part of the predestined societal positions that Romeo and Juliet were attempting to usurp with their lust.

In the context of their fate being "written in the stars", the cross also represents hardships. This is clearly represented in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream; Hermia says to Lyander of their troubles:

"If then lovers have been ever crosse'd,
It stands as an edict in destiny:
Then let us teach out trial patience,
Because it is a customary cross,
As due to love as thoughts and dreams and sighs,
Wishes and tears, poor fancy's followers." (Act I Scene I)

A clear representation of their troubles being something that was destined.

Other famous star-crossed lovers include Pyramus and Thisbe (usually regarded as the source for Romeo and Juliet), Lancelot and Guinevere, Tristan and Isolde, and Hagbard and Signy. More modern examples are Anakin and Padmé in the Star Wars saga, Jack and Rose in Titanic, and Tony and Maria in the musical West Side Story (a retelling of Romeo and Juliet).

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