William Shakespeare wrote ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in the 16th century, when tragedies were very popular. It is a romantic tragedy about two conflicting families, who have bitterly hated each other for generations, and frequently fight each other. Romeo is an eighteen-year-old boy from the Montague family and is very much in love with a woman called Rosaline. Juliet is a fourteen-year-old girl, who is arranged to marry a man called Paris and is from the Capulet family. Juliet and Paris have an engagement party and Romeo and his friends decide to crash, as Romeo wants to see Rosaline and they want to irritate the Capulets. However, at the party, Romeo and Juliet catch each other’s eyes and instantly fall madly in love, unaware of the fact that they are from conflicting families. This causes complications, as they would be forbidden to be together if their families discovered their relationship, so
they resort to keeping their romance a secret, which leads to a bitter tragedy. In this essay I will be exploring the themes of conflict and violence in act 1 scene 1, act 3 scene 1, and act 3 scene 5.
In act 1 scene 1, a fight occurs between the Montagues and the Capulets, in which the prince has to intervene. The fight begins with Sampson biting his thumb at the Montagues, which was an offensive action in those days. Abram, of the Montague family, asks, “Do you bite you thumb at us, sir?” and Sampson replies, “I do bite my thumb, sir.” This causes tension and encourages both verbal and physical violence. When Gregory, of the Montagues, asks Abram “Do you quarrel sir?” Abram replies “Quarrel, sir? No, sir.” Sampson then says that he will join the quarrel by saying “But if you do, sir, I am for you. I serve as a good a man as you.” and Abram retorts by saying “No better.” This aggravates Sampson, and when Benvolio enters, Sampson challenges them to a fight.
They fight, until Benvolio speaks of peace, but then Tybalt dismisses the idea by saying “What, drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word, as I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee. Have at thee, coward.” This both offends the Capulets and manipulates them to fight the Capulets, and they do so until the Prince orders them to stop fighting and threatens to execute them or banish them if they disturb the streets of Verona by fighting ever again. He does this by saying “If you ever disturb our streets again, your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.” Montague then asks Benvolio how the fight began and who started it. This fight is the last conflict in act 1 scene 1, and though the fight wasn’t a very major event, the Prince’s speech outlines the rest of the story and creates a troublesome situation for Romeo and Juliet later on in the play. If this scene had never happened, then the story would be very different.
Act 3, Scene 1 is a very important street brawl scene that shapes the whole story. This scene is very important and the start of a sequence of bad events. The weather suggests that...