Conflict Shown in Romeo and Juliet
Section one: major conflicts.
When one studies Romeo and Juliet it is easy to recognize that conflict is main theme. The major conflicts in the literature come from two warring families; the Capulets and the Montagues. The scene of the script illustrates that the two families have had wars between them for many years. This hatred that has been passed from one generation to the next has had an impact on the family members as well as the people of Verona (Shakespeare 7). The citizens of the region are part of the conflict because they witness the two families constantly fighting often resulting to death on either side.
Not only does Shakespeare the author of the literature illustrate conflict in terms of the two families but inner conflicts. Inner personal conflict is presented by the author when he describes how Juliet reacts after recognizing Romeo is a Montague. When Juliet realizes the true identity of the person he loves she is shocked. She wonders how she can love the person from the family she is supposed to hate. She voices her conflict by stating that she should love a loathed enemy (Shakespeare 8). The fact that she cannot change the fact that she loves Romeo provides a formidable basis for conflict.
The other base for conflict provided by the author comes from a conflict between Tybalt and Romeo. Romeo Gate-crashes a Capulet party and this makes Tybalt want to engage him in a duel. The other source of conflict on the literature comes from the conflict between Juliet and her father. The father of Juliet wishes her to marry Paris while she does not. The father of Juliet threatens to throw her out of the family if she refuses to marry Paris who is a Noble (Kottman 4).
Section two: How Conflict Affects Society
The main conflict in Romeo and Juliet comes from the family fights between the Capulets and the Montagues. The war between the two families interferes with societal norm whereby many people die in the process. It is evident that this conflict has an impact on interactions between people (Shakespeare 9). Romeo and Juliet though loved each other could not be together since they came from the opposite families to the feud.
Individuals are taught from an early stage in life to hate members from the other family. For this reason, the father of Juliet could not accept her daughter to marry Romeo since he came from the opposing family. It is also evident that the fights have had a negative impact on the thoughts of people (Kottman 6). For example, Juliet would be shocked to realize that Romeo came from a family that she is supposed to hate.
The scene of the play illustrates a brawl which involves servants from the house of Capulet and Montague. This fight has an impact on the street that the Prince warns of dire consequences if such an event that disturbs the streets should occur again. The impact of the conflict is also evident when Romeo and his friends attend a function where Tybalt argues they were not invited. Tybalt challenges Romeo into a fight which he declines (Kottman 11). But his friend with anger challenges Tybalt which results in his death while Romeo tries to stop the fight.
In response to the death of his friend Romeo seeks revenge against Tybalt which he succeeds to kill him. This will result in his banishment from Verona. Friends of Romeo and Juliet plant to secretly marry the two lovers. They devise a plan to fake Juliet death but never told Romeo. When Romeo realizes Juliet is dead he kills himself. When Juliet wakes up and finds Romeo dead he kills herself because they loved each other (Kottman 13). Because of the family conflict Romeo and Juliet would not let the society know about their love affair.
Section three: How to handle the conflict in Society
The reason of the family conflicts between the two families in Romeo and Juliet literature is not specifically mentioned. The conflict stretches for back for many decades. In order to handle such a conflict I would recommend a mediator or a conciliator. The conciliator will be able to speak with both families in order to understand the reasons for their conflict. The conciliator would also be responsible for providing measures and conditions that would prevent the two families from fighting again.
This conflict in the society should be handled by applying preventive measures. I would recommend that a unit is developed that would monitor the movements of the families and apply harsh measures to the family that starts a fight. Deterrence is another important measure that I recognize will bring formidable help to ending the conflicts. The deterrence measures could include offering hefty fines to families that start such conflicts. Families will avoid starting fights because it has a cost implication. The other important strategy for dealing with such conflicts in the society is providing education to people in a society. The content of such education includes details on how to handle conflicts.
Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet . Project Gutenberg .
Kottman, Paul A. “Defying the stars: Tragic love as the struggle for freedom in Romeo and Juliet.” Shakespeare Quarterly 63.1 (2012): 1-38.
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Exemplar Essay: Conflict
How does Shakespeare present conflict?
This extract is taken from Act I Scene I of the play. Just before this extract, the servants of the Montague and Capulet family have been speaking rudely to one another.
Say “better,” here comes one of my master’s kinsmen.
Yes, better, sir.
Draw, if you be men. Gregory, remember thy washing blow.
Put up your swords, you know not what you do.
Beats down their swords.
What, art thou drawn among these heartless hinds?
Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death.
I do but keep the peace. Put up thy sword,
Or manage it to part these men with me.
What, drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word
As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee.
Have at thee, coward!
Enter three or four Citizens with clubs or partisans.
CITIZENS OF VERONA
Clubs, bills, and partisans! Strike! Beat them down!
Down with the Capulets! Down with the Montagues!
Enter old Capulet in his gown, and his wife, Lady Capulet.
What noise is this? Give me my long sword ho!
A crutch, a crutch! Why call you for a sword?
My sword, I say! Old Montague is come,
And flourishes his blade in spite of me.
Enter old Montague and his wife, Lady Montague.
Thou villain Capulet!—Hold me not, let me go.
Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe.
Starting with this extract, explore how Shakespeare presents conflict in Romeo and Juliet.
You should explore:
- How Shakespeare presents conflict in this extract
- How Shakespeare presents conflict in the play as a whole
Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is about how strong emotions have tragic consequences. Throughout the play, Shakespeare explores how strong, uncontrollable anger and violence can worsen conflict. He also explores how conflict is linked to honour and masculinity. The male characters in the play are often driven by a fear of appearing cowardly; they fight to defend the honour of their family name in order to prove how manly they are. Shakespeare could therefore be challenging traditional ideas about masculinity, suggesting that this only leads to conflict and tragedy.
In the extract, Shakespeare explores how conflict can arise as a result of traditional views of masculinity. In line 8 of the extract, Shakespeare has Sampson say to Benvolio and Tybalt ‘draw, if you be the men’. In other words, he is asking them to draw their swords and fight. Shakespeare’s use of the words ‘if you be men’ indicate that a man would be considered a coward if he did not fight when challenged, reflecting a traditional Elizabethan attitude towards masculinity. This can also be seen through the way Lord Capulet and Lord Montague respond when they enter the stage. Shakespeare has Lord Capulet shout ‘give me my long sword’ as soon as he enters the stage and witnesses the fighting. It is clear that Lord Capulet plans to join in the fight. Contrary to the behaviour that we might expect of an older and wiser character, Lord Capulet only seeks to worsen the conflict, rather than seeking peace. It seems to be instinctive for Lord Capulet to fight in this situation, which would indicate that he too risks being seen as a coward for not fighting. By opening with this conflict between the Montague and the Capulet families and by including characters of all generations in the fight, Shakespeare demonstrates how strong the feud is between the two families and how much it disrupts the peace in Verona.
Also in the extract, Shakespeare explores the danger of strong anger through the character of Tybalt. In line 22-23, Shakespeare has Tybalt state that he hates the idea of peace as much as he ‘hates hell, all Montagues and thee’. In other words, Tybalt is stating that he hates the idea of peace as much as he hates the idea of being sent to hell and as much as he hates the Montague family. Shakespeare’s repetition of the word ‘hate’ in this quotation emphasises the anger in Tybalt’s character. It is as if he is consumed by the hate he feels for the Montagues and is unwilling to consider resolving the feud. His anger and hate are only heightened through the contrast Shakespeare creates with Benvolio, who asks the servants to ‘part’ and put down their swords. Shakespeare’s choice to present Tybalt as such a hateful character the first time the audience meets him foreshadows later events, as it could be argued that Tybalt’s hate triggers all of the tragic events in the play. Perhaps Shakespeare is warning of the dangers of being consumed by such strong and violent hate.
In the play as a whole, Shakespeare explores how honour, linked to masculinity, can have tragic consequences. After the Capulet ball, Tybalt wants to fight Romeo because he is very angry that Romeo attended uninvited. When Tybalt asks Romeo to fight, Shakespeare has Romeo say to Tybalt that he ‘loves’ him. This response is extremely shocking to both Tybalt and Mercutio because Tybalt is supposed to be Romeo’s enemy. Shakespeare makes clear that Mercutio is extremely angry with Romeo by having him say that this refusal to fight is ‘vile submission’. Shakespeare’s use of the word ‘vile’ indicates that Mercutio is disgusted by Romeo’s choice not to fight. An Elizabethan audience may have understood Mercutio’s reaction because, at the time the play was written, it would have seemed cowardly and dishonourable for a man to refuse to fight to defend his family name. Whereas Romeo now thinks only of his love for Juliet, Mercutio still thinks of male honour. As a result, Mercutio steps in to fight and dies. Perhaps Shakespeare presents Mercutio in this way to show his audience that a traditional view of what made someone ‘manly’ could lead to unnecessary fighting
In the play as a whole, Shakespeare explores the danger of acting quickly upon strong emotions through the character of Romeo. After Mercutio is killed by Tybalt, Shakespeare has Romeo state ‘fire eyed fury be my conduct now’. Shakespeare’s use of imagery associated with fire helps us to imagine that Romeo’s body is filled with passionate rage, which he impulsively acts upon without considering the consequences threatened by Prince Escalus in the opening scene of the play. Romeo often struggles to regulate his emotions and is a character who feels very deeply. In this instance, Romeo is motivated by his love for his loyal friend Mercutio and his fury towards Tybalt for killing him. Romeo’s actions result in his banishment, which takes him further away from Juliet and even closer to their tragic deaths. Shakespeare could therefore be warning against acting upon such strong emotions without thinking, as the result is only tragedy.
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How Is The Theme Of Conflict Presented In Romeo And Juliet?
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Romeo and Juliet, one of William Shakespeare's most renowned tragedies, explores the central theme of conflict in various forms. Set in Verona amidst two feuding families, the Montagues and Capulets, the play delves into the destructive consequences of unresolved conflicts. This theme is not limited to familial strife but also encompasses societal divisions, individual internal struggles, and ultimately leads to tragic outcomes for the young lovers. Through vivid characterization, intense dialogue, and dramatic plot developments, Shakespeare masterfully presents conflict as a driving force that shapes every aspect of Romeo and Juliet's ill-fated romance. As we delve deeper into this timeless tale, we will explore how these conflicts arise due to differences in social class, personal ambitions clashing with loyalty towards family ties or friendships, and an overarching feud between two prominent households that engulfs all those caught within its boundaries.
Feud between the Montagues and Capulets
The feud's influence extends beyond mere street brawls, infiltrating every aspect of daily life for both families. It dictates their loyalties, shapes their opinions, and influences their actions. For instance, Tybalt's aggressive nature stems directly from his family's fierce loyalty towards preserving their honor against any perceived slights from their rivals. Likewise, Romeo finds himself torn between his love for Juliet - a member of his family's sworn enemy - and his loyalty to his own bloodline.
This enduring conflict prevents any possibility of reconciliation or understanding between the two families. The rigid adherence to feuding factions perpetuates a cycle of violence that ultimately leads to tragic consequences for Romeo and Juliet. The lovers' attempts to defy societal norms by pursuing their forbidden romance are thwarted at every turn due to this deeply ingrained hostility between their respective families.
Shakespeare masterfully highlights how the ongoing feud between the Montagues and Capulets fuels conflict throughout Romeo and Juliet. Through vivid characterization and dramatic plot developments influenced by this animosity, he portrays how ancient grudges can have far-reaching consequences even on those who seek peace amid chaos. This theme underscores not only interpersonal conflicts but also societal divisions that ultimately contribute to tragedy within this timeless tale.
Love versus hate
The juxtaposition of love and hate is evident in numerous instances throughout the play. For instance, when Romeo first sees Juliet at the Capulet's party, he declares, "Did my heart love till now? Forswear it sight! / For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night" (Act 1, Scene 5). Here, Shakespeare showcases how love can instantly transform one's perspective on life itself. This newfound affection also intensifies his internal conflict since he falls for someone from a family that he has been raised to despise.
Similarly, when Tybalt discovers Romeo's presence at the Capulet party, his immediate response is fueled by hatred rather than reason or understanding. He exclaims with disdain: "Now seeming sweet convert to bitt'rest gall!" (Act 1, Scene 5). This reaction demonstrates how intense animosity blinds characters like Tybalt to rationality and pushes them towards violence.
Throughout Romeo and Juliet's relationship, their unwavering commitment to each other becomes an escape from the turmoil surrounding them. They find solace in their shared love but are constantly reminded of its potential destruction due to external conflicts such as feuds or societal expectations.
Shakespeare skillfully presents this juxtaposition between love and hate not only through dialogue but also through dramatic plot developments. By doing so, he highlights how these conflicting emotions become driving forces behind characters' actions - whether it be seeking reconciliation or pursuing revenge - leading to the tragic outcomes that ultimately define Romeo and Juliet.
Conflict within families
In addition to the external conflicts between the Montagues and Capulets, internal strife within each family adds another layer of complexity to the theme of conflict in Romeo and Juliet. Romeo's strained relationship with his parents serves as a catalyst for his actions throughout the play. He feels misunderstood by his father, Lord Montague, who fails to comprehend his son's melancholy state and infatuation with love. This lack of understanding contributes to Romeo's impulsive decisions, such as pursuing Juliet despite knowing it will only escalate tensions between their families.
Similarly, Juliet experiences conflict within her own household due to her defiance against her father's wishes. When she refuses to marry Paris - a suitor chosen by her father - she challenges societal expectations and traditional notions of obedience towards parental authority. Her rebellion against patriarchal control reveals an inner turmoil between familial duty and personal desires.
These internal conflicts showcase how individual struggles can ignite or exacerbate external conflicts within society at large. Shakespeare deftly captures the tension that arises from these conflicting loyalties and responsibilities within families, emphasizing how they contribute not only to personal suffering but also perpetuate larger cycles of violence and tragedy.
Through exploring both external feuds between families and internal disputes within households, Shakespeare masterfully presents conflict as a multi-faceted force that drives the narrative in Romeo and Juliet. The juxtaposition of love versus hate further heightens this tension while highlighting how these opposing forces shape characters' actions and ultimately determine their fates in this timeless tragedy.
The conflict arises from Juliet's love for Romeo, who belongs to a lower social class. Their relationship challenges traditional norms and expectations dictated by their respective families' positions in society. Shakespeare explores this clash of social classes through the characters' interactions and dialogue.
This societal conflict also leads to misunderstandings and miscommunications among characters. For instance, when Friar Laurence sends Friar John to deliver an important message about his plan to fake Juliet's death so she can be with Romeo, the letter fails to reach its destination due to an outbreak of plague in Mantua. As a result, Romeo remains unaware of the friar's plan and believes that Juliet has truly died.
Through these instances of social conflict, Shakespeare not only adds another layer of tension but also highlights how external forces beyond individual control shape the fate of Romeo and Juliet. The play serves as a critique on society's rigid adherence to hierarchical structures that prevent individuals from freely expressing their love or pursuing happiness across perceived boundaries.
Shakespeare effectively presents various forms of conflict in "Romeo and Juliet." From long-standing feuds between families like Montagues and Capulets to internal struggles faced by individuals torn between loyalty or desire for change; from clashes between love and hate or nobility versus commoners; these conflicts intertwine throughout the play leading ultimately towards tragedy.
Personal desires versus societal expectations
Romeo and Juliet beautifully captures various forms of conflict throughout its narrative. The longstanding feud between the Montagues and Capulets sets an atmosphere ripe for tension while also reflecting wider social divisions that contribute to tragic outcomes. Love versus hate serves as a constant dichotomy that drives characters' actions; fueling both passion but also destructive impulses born out of deep-seated animosity. Additionally,the clash between personal desires versus societal expectations reveals complex internal struggles faced by Romeo and Juliet as they navigate their love in a society governed by rigid traditions. Shakespeare's masterful exploration of conflict in the play serves as a timeless reminder of the destructive power that unresolved conflicts can have on individuals and communities alike.
Conflict between youth and age
The conflict between youth and age is a recurring theme in Romeo and Juliet, as the younger generation clashes with the traditional values upheld by their elders. This conflict is particularly evident in the relationship between Juliet and her parents, Lord Capulet and Lady Capulet. While Juliet yearns for independence and seeks love based on personal choice, her parents view marriage primarily as a means of securing wealth or social status.
Lord Capulet's insistence on Juliet's arranged marriage to Paris reflects his belief that obedience to family honor supersedes individual desires. He asserts his authority over Juliet by stating, "I tell thee what: get thee to church o' Thursday / Or never after look me in the face" (Act 3, Scene 5). This imposition of parental control creates an irreconcilable divide between father and daughter, leading Juliet to desperate measures.
In contrast, Lady Capulet initially appears more sympathetic towards her daughter's feelings but ultimately aligns herself with her husband's wishes. She urges Juliet to consider Paris as a suitable suitor without truly understanding her daughter's innermost desires. This generational clash highlights how differing perspectives on love and marriage can create tension within families, often resulting in tragic consequences when young individuals are denied agency over their own lives.
Shakespeare underscores this conflict by portraying Romeo and Juliet as victims caught between societal expectations and their fervent passion for one another. Their desire for autonomy challenges not only their families' authority but also traditional norms surrounding courtship during that time period.
Romeo and Juliet skillfully explores various forms of conflicts - be it familial feuds, love versus hate or generational clashes - all interwoven into a tragic narrative that showcases the destructive power of unresolved conflicts. Through vivid characterization, intense dialogue, and dramatic plot developments centered around these conflicts,
Shakespeare presents a timeless tale that resonates with audiences across generations.
Fate versus free will
The theme of fate versus free will is a recurring motif in Romeo and Juliet, as characters grapple with the idea of their actions being predetermined or influenced by external forces. Despite their attempts to alter their destinies, they often find themselves trapped in a web of tragic consequences. This conflict is evident from the very beginning when Romeo declares, "I fear too early; for my mind misgives / Some consequence yet hanging in the stars" (Act 1, Scene 4). Here, he acknowledges his belief that his choices are guided by a predestined fate.
Despite this acknowledgment, characters like Romeo and Juliet still make choices driven by personal desires and emotions. For example, Juliet defies her family's expectations and secretly marries Romeo against all odds. Even though they exercise their free will to be together, events beyond their control continuously conspire against them. Friar Laurence's plan to help them escape Verona falls apart due to unforeseen circumstances and miscommunications.
Shakespeare suggests that while individuals may have some agency over their actions, there are certain factors outside of human control that shape the course of events - what we might call fate. The play serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of attempting to defy one's predetermined path without considering the potential consequences.
Conflict arises from various sources within Romeo and Juliet - be it feuds between families or internal struggles between love and hate. The themes of conflict permeate every aspect of this tragic tale: societal divisions fueling animosity between rival families; conflicting emotions such as love versus hate driving character motivations; and the clash between fate and free will leading to inevitable tragedy despite characters' attempts at altering their destinies. Through skillful characterization and dramatic plot developments intertwined with these conflicts, Shakespeare crafts a timeless narrative that explores humanity's propensity for discordance amidst its pursuit of love and happiness.
Physical violence plays a significant role in Romeo and Juliet, reflecting the deeply rooted conflicts within Verona. One of the most pivotal scenes showcasing this violence is Tybalt's death at the hands of Romeo. Tybalt, driven by his hatred for the Montagues, challenges Romeo to a duel after Mercutio's death. In a fit of rage and grief, Romeo succumbs to the cycle of violence perpetuated by their families' feud and kills Tybalt. This act sets off a chain reaction that propels the play towards its tragic conclusion.
Mercutio's duel with Tybalt also exemplifies how physical violence escalates tensions and fuels further conflict. Mercutio's witty banter quickly turns deadly when he engages in combat with Tybalt on behalf of his friend Romeo. This scene not only demonstrates Mercutio's loyalty but also underscores how aggression can spiral out of control, resulting in dire consequences.
Romeo's final confrontation with Paris in the Capulet tomb adds another layer to the theme of physical violence. Overwhelmed by grief upon discovering Juliet seemingly lifeless, Romeo clashes with Paris who believes he has come to desecrate her tomb. This confrontation serves as a culmination of multiple conflicts - romantic rivalry, social expectations, and personal vendettas - leading to yet another tragic loss.
In each instance where physical violence occurs, Shakespeare emphasizes its destructive nature and its power to exacerbate existing conflicts or create new ones altogether. These violent encounters serve as reminders that unresolved disputes ultimately lead to devastating outcomes for both individuals and society at large within Verona
Conflict serves as a pervasive and central theme in Romeo and Juliet. From the longstanding feud between the Montagues and Capulets to the internal struggles faced by individual characters, conflict manifests itself in various forms throughout the play. The animosity between the two families sets the stage for ongoing clashes that shape their actions and decisions. Love, which should have been a source of joy and unity, becomes entangled with hatred due to societal divisions and familial loyalties. This juxtaposition of love and hate further fuels the conflicts that drive Romeo and Juliet's tragic journey. Shakespeare's masterful portrayal of conflict emphasizes how unresolved disputes can have devastating consequences on both personal relationships and society as a whole. Through his exploration of this theme, he reminds us of the destructive power of discordance while also highlighting the importance of seeking reconciliation before it is too late.
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But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness.
"At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident."
"On the other hand, we denounce with righteous indignation and dislike men who are so beguiled and demoralized by the charms of pleasure of the moment, so blinded by desire, that they cannot foresee the pain and trouble that are bound to ensue."
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How is the theme of conflict presented in romeo and juliet? (2023, August 04). Pro-Papers. Retrieved December 07, 2023, from https://pro-papers.com/samples/literature/romeo-juliet/conflict-presented-in-romeo-and-juliet
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How does Shakespeare use conflict in Romeo and Juliet Act 1 Scene 1
In this essay I will address how conflict is successfully used in Act 1 Scene 1 to prepare the audience for the rest of the play. It will firstly show how Shakespeare uses physical conflict between the two feuding families. Secondly I will demonstrate the idea that Shakespeare introduces emotional conflict through the character of Romeo, and his outpourings of love for Rosaline. Finally I will show that the character of Romeo demonstrates both physical or external conflict and emotional or internal conflict.
The purpose of the prologue is to clearly outline the plot of the whole play in fourteen lines and it also allows the audience to be settled before the actual play properly starts. The audience gets a glimpse of the rest of the play, it is introducing the idea that there is conflict; for instance “death-marked love” gives the idea of love not being positive, but is hinting that love is in fact negative as it relates to death. The prologue is a fourteen-line sonnet; it rhymes alternately till the last two lines where the sentences end in rhyming couplets indicating to the audience that the first act is beginning.
The audience watching the play would associate a sonnet with love. However the audience is made aware that death and violence are going to be a major part of the play due to very angry, violent and aggressive words; these include “death”, “rage” and also “mutiny”. We are also told that “from ancient grudge break to new mutiny” which describes a history “ancient” long standing conflict between the two families.
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We also learn that there is a “continuance of the parents’ rage” indicating to the audience that this conflict is still on-going and unlikely to be easily resolved.
Act 1 Scene 1 opens with Gregory and Sampson of the house of Capulet, in a public place in Verona City which shows immediately where the story will take place. From the outset it is clear that the servants are looking for physical conflict, as they are ‘armed with swords and bucklers’. At this time gentlemen wore swords, but servants usually didn’t, so by being armed it is obvious that Gregory and Sampson are looking for trouble. The language of the two servants is very masculine “we’ll draw” (swords) gives the audience the idea that Sampson is looking for a fight.
We learn that he “will take the wall of any man or maid of Montague” learly demonstrating he will not run from any conflict with the Montagues. However, Gregory is not as interested in taking part in this conflict but is more interested in talking with his mouth rather than his sword. “If thou art moved, thou runn’st away” shows how he would rather goad Sampson and challenge his masculinity with the clever use of words. The language used during the interaction between the two servants, such as addressing each other as “thou” is very upper class and not the language of a servant. This would appeal to the nobility and the upper classes in the audience.
This scene is also very comedic; it does this to show the lighter side of the conflict within Romeo and Juliet. One way it is funny is when talking about the male sexual slurs “My naked weapon is out” is referring to his sword in a sexual way, which will entertain the audience. Another comedic feature is how Gregory can change the context of Samsons words. Sampson states that “we’ll not carry coals” meaning that they will not be accept any goading by the Montague then Gregory replies “No, for then we should be colliers” (coal miners) this is funny as he changed the context of carrying coals to mock Samson.
The first encounter between the two families begins when servants of the two households Sampson and Gregory (Capulet) meet Abraham and Balthasar (Montague). Sampson symbolically bites his thumb; this indicates that he is looking for a fight. Again we see conflict being introduced as biting your thumb at someone was an insulting gesture. He does this to stir things up between the two families; admitting that “I do bite my thumb, sir” the audience would probably see him as a trouble maker and the source of conflict.
However their view of him could change because he starts to back down due to finding out the law isn’t on his side and we learn that he does “… not bite my thumb at you, sir. ” At this point the audience would then begin to view him as weak. The noble Benvolio (cousin of Romeo) is the peacemaker as he tries to stop the fight and orders them to “Part, fools! ” It is significant that it is Benvolio who is the peacemaker as his name means good will. However, Tybalt (Capulet) comes along and will not “talk of peace!
I hate the word,” leaving Benvolio with no choice but to continue the conflict. The citizens of Verona are obviously sick of the conflict that exists between the Capulets and Montague, as they shout “Down with the Capulets! Down with the Montague! ” So it is clear that the people of Verona do not like the frequent civil wars. This negativity towards conflict could also be seen as a metaphor for maintaining the peace in Shakespearean society. The prince is introduced as the person who tries to maintain order and peace in Verona; he does this firstly by calling to the mob. Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,”
By addressing them as rebellious he shows them as being outside of the law. He also threatens them with torture to control the citizens so he has to address them with ferocity. This is something that the audience would relate to because peace existed at his time during Elizabeth’s rule. However to remain in power Tudor kings and Queens would use torture and execution to control any “Rebellious subjects”. Torture in the 16th century usually ended in death. With the loss of fingers and then larger limbs, death would usually follow.
The rack was also being a predominant means of torture. Shakespeare uses metaphors to add dramatic effect, “purple fountains issuing from your veins” refers to spilled blood due to the civil brawl; this emphasises that he will not tolerate the feud. Personification is also used when the Prince tells the citizens to “throw your mistemper’d weapons to the ground” he is talking about the weapons having human traits when they are being used for the wrong reasons. Once again he is emphasising how he feels that fighting is not the answer.
Lady Montague’s dialogue shows she is worried about Romeo being involved in the fighting, because she cares about his well being, she asks Benvolio “Romeo? Saw you him to-day? ” However Benvolio is able to tell lady Montague that Romeo wasn’t at the battle and that he was in the forests with a “troubled mind” introducing the idea of emotional conflict. We further learn of Romeo’s emotional state of mind when Montague describes Romeo’s behaviour as “black and portentous”. He says that even when it is day he “pens himself” in his “chamber” and “shuts up his windows”.
This description of Romeo allows the first scene to change direction from physical conflict to emotional conflict. The audience’s first impression of Romeo is that he is very dark and mysterious due to his habit of locking himself in his room. However the audience at the same time will be intrigued to find out what has caused this depressive behaviour. The question is asked by Benvolio “do you know the cause? ” which would echo the audiences thoughts. The audience learns more of the character of Romeo when Montague compares his son o a flower and how “the bud bit with an envious worm, Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air. ” This metaphor enables the audience to learn more about Romeo’s nature, by comparing him to a flower the impression of Romeo is that he is more delicate than the previous characters.
The audience learn that Romeo’s emotional inner conflict is due to his love for a beautiful woman (Rosaline) who has rejected his advances. This male suffering was a popular theme in love poetry of this time and was echoed by authors such as John Donne in Sweetest Love, I do not go “When thou weep’st, unkindly kind, my life’s blood doth decay. Romeos dilemma is similar to that of Petrarch who loved a girl called Laura, this identifies Romeo to the audience as a Petrarchan Lover. As the passage moves on we learn more of Romeos inner conflict. His state of mind is demonstrated by the use of oxymorons “loving hate” “heavy lightness” and “sick health” all give a clear indication of how the use of opposites echo the turbulent state of his mind.
The sentences are also disjointed when he describes his love he jumps from “Mis-shapen chaos… ” to “… cold fire, sick health! which further reflects his confusion because of his unrequited love. However Romeos mood changes and this is indicated by blank verses (iambic pentameters) when he further describes what love means to him. This style of writing helps to make the script flow which demonstrates how Romeos love flows. His feelings of what love means to him are further reinforced by the inclusion of rhyme “shown, own” “sighs; eyes;” and “discreet, sweet”. This elevation in language is reiterated in the language that he uses when he later describes his feelings for Juliet.
The audience learns more about Romeos mysterious love when he compares her to Dian. Dian was the goddess of chastity and this gives the audience an indication of the true nature of his love. She is described as having “Dian’s wit” therefore by comparing her to a goddess she is intelligent and yet has the body of a goddess. The fact that she wants to “live chaste” and “Cuts beauty off from all posterity” supports the idea that she will never return his love and adds to his emotional conflict causing Romeo to become depressed.
We learn that Romeo declares that he cannot even bare to say her name and he asks “Bid a sick man in sadness make his will:” Emphasizing the idea that to say her name would cause him to die. Conflict is again reinforced in his love for Rosaline, when he talks about his fight to win over Rosaline. He describes it as a battlefield where he uses words such as “siege. ” These are not words usually associated with love but by saying them the conflict that exists can be seen as both emotional and physical. Benvolio gives Romeo the advice that he should “Examine other Beauties” Romeo says that this would only make things worse.
He likens it to a man that is struck blind can’t forget that he once could see “his eyesight lost”. Once again Romeo is emphasising that he can never forget his love and the emotions that he is feeling can be related to something physical such as losing his sight. The first act introduces the audience to more details of the physical conflict in Verona that was mentioned in the prologue. We learn that this long standing feud is between the Capulet and Montague families. However it is a feud “bred of an airy word” demonstrating that it is so longstanding that nobody really knows how it started.
Romeo who is a member of the Montague family is key to the idea of conflict and brings together both physical and emotional conflicts. He is himself suffering inner emotional conflict because of his love for a woman who “hath forsworn to love” and so cannot return his love. Romeos father likens him to a flower that has not “spread his sweet leaves” this points to the idea that he is not a strong and forceful male. But instead the ideal person to become embroiled in the love affair indicated in the prologue.
The emotional conflict that he feels is linked to the physical conflict that is happening around him, by his choice of words when he likens his love to a battle by his use of the word “siege”. This linking is further reinforced when Romeo likens the idea of emotional conflict to the physical conflict of losing his sight. It is my belief that Shakespeare uses conflict in Act 1 Scene 1 to prepare the audience for the conflicts that exist between the two families and to introduce them to the character of Romeos and how his emotional instability will affect the rest of the play.
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Impulsiveness In Romeo And Juliet
In the Shakespearean play, Romeo and Juliet, the male protagonist, Romeo, has a distinct personality. Romeo is impulsive as he often gets over past experiences quickly after acquiring a newfound opportunity. He also is mentally sharp and in certain occasions, Romeo connives to beat others through his intellect. Despite many of his other traits, Romeo possesses the contrasting quality of being courteous and polite. Each of Romeo’s characteristics plays a fundamental part in advancing the plot of the tragedy.…
Gender Roles And Equlity In Shakespeare's Rmoo And Juliet
Tybalt intended to fight Romeo because he disliked his presence at the Capulet’s party but after Romeo refuses to fight Mercutio feels the need to fight for him instead. This is not the only time Mercutio is a display of masculinity in the play. As Romeo’s friend he likes to mock him, calling him an petrarchan lover and joking about his version of love. The difference to Romeo is also found when juxtaposing how Romeo and Mercutio speak. For instance, when Romeo talks about the girls he is in love with or has a crush on he talks in poetic sentences.…
Romeo And Juliet Hatred Quotes
“ Romeo - Alive in triumph, and Mercutio slain! Away to heaven, respective lenity, and fury be my conduct now. Now, Tybalt, take the “villain” back again That late thou gavest me, for Mercutio’s soul Is but a little way above our heads. Tybalt - Thou wretched boy that didst consort him here Shalt with him hence. Romeo -…
Romeo's Flaws Essay
Throughout the play Romeo is seen making reckless decisions that affect him and others around him. For example, Romeo displays his impulsive attitude, as he is quick to marry Juliet, falling blindly in love with someone he has just met. Romeo is able to move on as soon as he lays his eyes Juliet, even though he was previously infatuated with Rosaline, not long ago. In addition to this, Romeo also shows his lack of judgment when he choses not consider the consequences in killing Tybalt, “The citizens are up, and Tybalt is slain. / Stand not amazed.…
Romeo And Tybalt Compare And Contrast
When people hear about opposites attracting, they usually think that the opposites fall in love and ride along into the sunset but in the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, Shakespeare shows this attraction as a bridge that moves along the plot of this tragic love story. Shakespeare introduces Romeo, the male protagonist as a peaceful, loving, young adult who meets with Tybalt, a supporting character who is full of anger and loves to engage in fights. To readers, Tybalt’s storyline may seem unnecessary to the play but it actually helps all the events unfold. Shakespeare shows Romeo and Tybalt as total opposites but deep inside their characters they have so much in common. Shakespeare demonstrates their similarities by their personality…
Self Control In Romeo And Juliet
By questioning his self control and provoking him, Mercutio is at fault for the fight that occurred in the streets between Benvolio, Romeo, Tybalt, and him. Mercutio was irritated by the fact that the Capulets and Montagues could never seem to get along at all. When venting about this to Benvolio in the streets, the two of them happen to encounter Tybalt. Almost immediately Mercutio is talking with sarcasm and an attitude. He states “And but one word with one of us?…
Causes Of Romeo And Juliet's Death Essay
Zayd Siddiqui Mr. Devine ENG 1D1 Jan/8/16 Causes For Romeo And Juliet’s Death “From Forth the fatal loins of these two foes, a pair of star-crossed lovers take their lives”. Romeo and Juliet is an 16th Century play written by William Shakespeare. The Play Portraits the life of two star-crossed lovers as they live hiding their love in fear and secret from their feuding families, the Capulets and the Montagues. This Path ultimately leads to the two lover’s horrible death, but what were the factors and events leading up to this ending?…
Character Sketch Of Romeo And Mercutio
by Shakespeare,two families the Montagues and the Capulets constantly keep fighting throughout the play. Every young man in the Verona society was aware of their status and these young men would never fight below their rank. Benvolio is the nephew to the Montagues and he is a very trustworthy friend and counselor. Throughout the play, he mainly serves as the peacemaker. Tybalt is the nephew of the lord and the lady capulet, he is a very aggressive and troublesome character and he was the main reason behind many quarrels in the play.…
- Romeo and Juliet
- Characters in Romeo and Juliet
- Romeo Montague
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