Violence in 'Romeo and Juliet', Shakespeare.

Topics: Romeo and Juliet, Characters in Romeo and Juliet, Romeo Montague Pages: 6 (1693 words) Published: February 4, 2006
"Romeo and Juliet" is one of the most famous plays written by Shakespeare. Under the essential elements, the character, plot, theme, there are a lot of special, unique ideas make the story stand out amongst others. In 'Romeo and Juliet', violence is one of the key ideas that link every incident together. It pushes the story forward and makes things happen. Shakespeare produces visions of violence in nearly every scene, every moment of the play. The violence affects every character, changing their nature and influencing their decisions. It troubles them and brings them difficulty, stress and even death.

Shakespeare writes in the prologue the reasons of the violence and fights in the play. He uses 5 lines to explain the beginning of the whole feud between the two families, and how it will play an important role in the story.

"From ancient grudge break to new mutiny.

Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.

The fearful passage of their death-marked love,

And the continuance of their parent's rage,

Which, but their children's end, nought could remove"

The ancient grudge between the two families brings hate and revenge to the time of Romeo, and becomes a barrier between the two loves, preventing them from meeting each other. If the hatred between the Montague and Capulet family hadn't been so great, they could have happily married and lived together. But no, they had to shoulder the huge pressure of the family, which forced them to commit suicide in the end.

The play starts with a scene of fighting. Samson and Gregory, servants of the Capulets, start a fight by biting their thumb, which is a rude gesture. This brings out the theme of hate between the families. The hate of the families is so immense that the servants are pulled in as well. Capulet and Montague engage in the fight, but are stopped. It reveals that the hate between the two families is so great that even the elderly want to fight, even though they are too old and holding crutches.

"What noise is this? Give me my long sword ho!"

"A crutch, a crutch! Why call you for a sword?

"Thou villain Capulet! Hold me not, let me go."

"Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe."

Here even the older members of the families want to participate in the fight. When Capulet's wife says 'why call you for a sword' she reminds Capulet that he is old and should not enter the fight. The scene of wives wrestling with their husbands creates humor. This makes the whole feud seem like a game, childish and silly, making it more tragic that Romeo and Juliet lose their lives because of it.

At the Capulet Ball, Tybalt sees Romeo. He regards it as an insult and wants to kill Romeo at that very moment. But then Capulet interferes. He tells Tybalt that if he does fight with Romeo he will ruin his party and his reputation. Capulet threatens Tybalt, saying that he should be quiet and stop.

"You are a princox, go;

For shame! I'll make you quiet."

Here violence oppresses violence. It is used to stop Tybalt from fighting Romeo, in turn stopping intense violence from happening, as the fight between them could have turned worse.

The violence then intensifies through the whole play. After the marriage of Romeo and Juliet, A huge fight occurs in the streets of Verona, where Mercutio confronts Tybalt. The violence here connects with the family hatred of the Capulet family to the Montagues. Romeo tries to stop the quarrel between the two men but does not succeed. He tries use a peaceful way to stop the fight, but Tybalt refuses to go away.

"Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries

That thou hast done me, therefore turn and draw."

Tybalt shows his hate towards Romeo in these lines. He argues with Romeo and tries to get him to draw his sword and fight him even though Romeo refuses to. But then Mercutio comes into the fight. He wants to fight but Romeo doesn't want him to. There is confusion and Mercutio is suddenly stabbed by Tybalt. Mercutio dies,...
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