William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet Essay

7752 words - 31 pages

William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet

The two chief families in Verona were the rich Capulets and the
Montagues. There had been an old quarrel between these families, which
was grown to such a height, and so deadly was the enmity between them,
that it extended to the remotest kindred, to the followers and
retainers of both sides, insomuch that a servant of the house of
Montague could not meet a servant of the house of Capulet, nor a
Capulet encounter with a Montague by chance, but fierce words and
sometimes bloodshed ensued; and frequent were the brawls from such
accidental meetings, which disturbed the happy quiet of Verona's
streets.

Old lord Capulet made a great supper, to which many fair ladies and
many noble guests were invited. All the admired beauties of Verona
were present, and all comers were made welcome if they were not of the
house of Montague. At this feast of Capulets, Rosaline, beloved of
Romeo, son to the old lord Montague, was present; and though it was
dangerous for a Montague to be seen in this assembly, yet Benvolio, a
friend of Romeo, persuaded the young lord to go to this assembly in
the disguise of a mask, that he might see his Rosaline, and seeing her
compare her with some choice beauties of Verona, who (he said) would
make him think his swan a crow. Romeo had small faith in Benvolio's
words; nevertheless, for the love of Rosaline, he was persuaded to go.
For Romeo was a sincere and passionate lover, and one that lost his
sleep for love, and fled society to be alone, thinking on Rosaline,
who disdained him, and never required his love, with the least show of
courtesy or affection; and Benvolio wished to cure his friend of this
love by showing him diversity of ladies and company. To this feast of
Capulets then young Romeo with Benvolio and their friend Mercutio went
masked. Old Capulet bid them welcome, and told them that ladies who
had their toes unplagued with corns would dance with them. And the old
man was light hearted and merry, and said that he had worn a mask when
he was young, and could have told a whispering tale in a fair lady's
ear. And they fell to dancing, and Romeo was suddenly struck with the
exceeding beauty of a lady who danced there, who seemed to him to
teach the torches to burn bright, and her beauty to show by night like
a rich jewel worn by a blackamoor; beauty too rich for use, too dear
for earth! like a snowy dove trooping with crows (he said), so richly
did her beauty and perfections shine above the ladies her companions.
While he uttered these praises, he was overheard by Tybalt, a nephew
of lord Capulet, who knew him by his voice to be Romeo. And this
Tybalt, being of a fiery and passionate temper, could not endure that
a Montague should come under cover of a mask, to fleer and scorn (as
he said) at their solemnities. And he...

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