At the opening of The Merchant of Venice, Antonio cannot explain his sad state. His friends attempt to explain his sadness, citing his business risks (his merchant ships on excursions); when Antonio tells them that his “merchandise makes (him) not sad” (I.i.45), however, they jump to a different conclusion: “Why then you are in love” (I.i.46). In an interesting example of antilabe (shared line), Antonio answers, “Fie, fie!” (I.i.46). What makes that interesting is the syllable count of the line:
~ / / / ~ /
Why, then you are in love.
There are only eight syllables, meaning Antonio must pause a beat before answering.
Is this a non-denial denial of love?