Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. The story is about the love between two young people from rival families, the Capulets and the Montagues. The play ends tragically, with both Romeo and Juliet taking their own lives.
The play contains a lot of violence and conflict, which is a major part of the story. The characters in Romeo and Juliet are often at odds with each other, and this leads to some heated arguments and fights.
One of the most famous examples of violence in the play is when Romeo kills Tybalt in revenge for killing his friend Mercutio. This act of violence leads to Romeo being banished from Verona, and ultimately leads to the tragic ending of the play.
While violence and conflict are a major part of Romeo and Juliet, they are not the only thing that the play is about. The story is also about love, forgiveness, and redemption. These themes are present throughout the play, even in the midst of all the violence and conflict.
In the end, Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy, but it is also a story about the power of love to overcome even the biggest obstacles.
The most essential elements of Shakespeare’s most renowned play Romeo and Juliet are violence and conflict. It may happen in a variety of ways, both through speech and bodily harm. Four major characters die throughout the play, a crowd forms outside Verona Square, and numerous debates ensue. Within Romeo and Juliet, there are several subplots about love, betrayal, and terror.
However, these do not eclipse the violence which takes place. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a play about two young lovers whose deaths eventually unite their feuding families. It is set in Italy during the Renaissance period. The story was based on an Italian poem written by Luigi Da Porto and published in 1530. The original story was adapted by Arthur Brooke and Shakespeare wrote his own version of the story in 1597.
Romeo Montague falls in love with Juliet Capulet, who is due to marry the County Paris, a relative of the Prince of Verona. Romeo gets banished. Juliet fakes her own death in a plan to be reunited. Romeo believes Juliet is truly dead and kills himself. Juliet finds Romeo’s corpse beside her and kills herself. The Prince of Verona exiled Romeo at the beginning of the play for his part in the death of Tybalt. The Montagues and Capulets are forced to end their feud as a result of the tragic events.
The main characters of Romeo and Juliet are:
Romeo – son of Lord Montague, falls in love with Juliet
Juliet – daughter of Lord Capulet, she falls in love with Romeo
Tybalt – nephew of Lady Capulet, he hates all Montagues
Mercutio – Romeo’s best friend, he is killed by Tybalt
Lord Montague – father of Romeo
Lady Montague – mother of Romeo
Lord Capulet – father of Juliet
Lady Capulet – mother of Juliet
County Paris – a relative of the Prince of Verona, he was to marry Juliet
There are many acts of violence and conflict in Romeo and Juliet. In Act 1, Scene 1, the play opens with a fight between the Montagues and the Capulets. This is broken up by the Prince of Verona. The Prince threatens those who break the peace again with death. In Act 3, Scene 1, Mercutio fights Tybalt and is killed. Romeo then kills Tybalt in revenge. As a result of this, Romeo is banished from Verona.
The prologue scene establishes the long-standing grudge between the Montague and Capulet families. This mutual resentment is further amplified by their respective servants, creating an environment of constant fighting.
Even the language used in the play is violent, for example when Tybalt says to Romeo ‘Draw, if you be men.’ This shows that there is a lot of testosterone flying around and people are eager to fight. In the Elizabethan era, it was quite normal to duel but these duels were usually over something important like honour or a woman and not just because two people couldn’t control their tempers.
When Romeo first meets Juliet he says ‘Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.’ This portrays Romeo as being very passionate and impulsive which could be seen as a negative character trait as it leads him into making rash decisions such as marrying Juliet without even knowing her that well.
Juliet is also shown to be quite impulsive in the way she agrees to marry Romeo even though she has only just met him. This could be seen as her being star struck by Romeo’s looks and not really thinking things through. However, it could also be seen as being very romantic as they are both willing to go against their families wishes and get married in secret which shows how much they truly love each other.
Throughout the play, there are various fights between the different characters which often end in someone being killed or wounded. For example, Mercutio is killed by Tybalt under Romeo’s arm and Lady Capulet is so distraught by this that she faints. This just goes to show how much death and violence there is in the play.
The prologue sets the stage for the tragedy that is to come, by telling us that “two star-crossed lovers take their lives.” This creates a sense of suspense and curiosity in the audience, which keeps them engaged throughout the play. The violence and conflict are also key elements of Romeo and Juliet, adding to the tragic story.
Another factor in the violence and conflict is that of the feuding families, the Montague’s and Capulet’s. This has been going on for ‘many years’ and there have been ‘many deaths’. So when Romeo Montague falls in love with Juliet Capulet it is not only frowned upon because they are from different social classes but also because of the long running feud. Even though Romeo tries to reason with his father saying ‘Deny thy father and refuse thy name; Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.’
This does not work as Romeo’s marriage to Juliet would just be seen as a way of mocking the Capulet’s. So the violence and conflict is further exacerbated by the families and their long running feud.
The final factor in the violence and conflict is fate. Throughout the play there are numerous examples of fate interceding and ultimately leading to the tragic ending. For example, when Romeo is banished instead of put to death Tybalt says ‘This shall determine that’ referring to the fact that Romeo being banished will lead to further problems. Another example is when Friar Lawrence decides to marry Romeo and Juliet he says ‘For this alliance may so happy prove, To turn your households’ rancour to pure love.’
But of course the opposite happens and the marriage just leads to more violence. So fate seems to be conspiring against Romeo and Juliet from the start and this just adds to the conflict and violence in the play.
In conclusion, there are many factors that contribute to the violence and conflict in Romeo and Juliet. The characters, the families and fate all play a part in the tragic events that unfold. Shakespeare uses these factors to create a tense and exciting play that still resonates with audiences today.