Romeo and Juliet ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is one of Shakespeare’s most famous and popular plays. It tells the story of ‘two starcross’d lovers’ and addresses such themes as Romance but also tragedy. However it also contains themes of violence/conflict/death. The play begins with a prologue which is kind of a summary of the play but doesn’t give all the details of the play away to the audience as it includes the setting of the play and a bit of background information. Then a fued is introduced straight away between the younger generation of the two rival families which are the Montague’s and the Capulet’s.
I am going to examine the theme of conflict in Act 1 Scene 1 and Act 3 Scene 5. Here we have the opening scene set in Verona. With bawdy banter, Sampson and Gregory discuss their hatred towards the house of Montague and spot two Montagues and discuss about provoking a fight without breaking the law. Sampson bites his thumb at the Montagues which is seen as a highly insulting gesture which results a fight breaking out. In shakespearean times, Women were seen as a mans possession and had no right to an education. Women back then were to have children and look after the house.
Prostitution was quite big back then and it relates to Gregory and Sampson, talking of raping Montague women. Stage direction are used throughout the play. ‘They fight’ is an example of one one which is used in this scene just after Tybalt expresses his opinion towards ‘Peace’. As soon as ‘They Fight’ appears, that is the point where it gets physical and brutal. After Prince Escalus has mad his speech on the brawl the Montague’s and Capulet’s realise that they can’t fight anymore as a death penalty has been instituted.
Prince Escalus just wants Verona to be a land of not war but peace. In the next scene i am going to examine, we see conflict but in a different way as it is between father and daughter (Lord Capulet and Juliet). Just after Romeo has flee’d into exile, Lady Capulet tells Juliet about Capulet’s plan for her to marry Paris on Thursday, explaining that he wishes to make her happy. Juliet is appalled. She rejects the match, saying “I will not marry yet; and when I do, I swear / It shall be Romeo—whom you know I hate— Rather than Paris” (3. 5. 121–123). Capulet enters the chamber. When he learns of Juliet’s determination to defy him he becomes enraged and threatens to disown Juliet if she refuses to obey him. When Juliet entreats her mother to intercede, her mother denies her help. This scene is more about the violent language and behaviour of the father to his daughter as it is seen as abuse. Capulet shouts horrible remarks at Juliet such as ‘Disobedient wretch! ‘ . This is because she had disobeyed her father.
Capulet had made his word clear to Paris that Juliet will marry him and in them days what the man in the house said goes and for Juliet to disobey her father is seen as an insult. In them days, you didn’t marry for love but for security and your father would choose someone suitable. Capulet feels as though Juliet should be grateful that he has found a perfect match for her. The language of the father towards Juliet kind of contrasts towards Gregory and Sampsons dicussion about raping Montague women as both seem to put women in a lower class as it was like that back then.
The play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ has to have a conflict because; it is one of the main themes in the play. The disagreements and fight between the two family, that is Capulet and he Montague, their children Romeo and Juliet who truly were in love with each other end up dying. So, after this incident, the quarrels stop between the two families. The whole play starts because of the mutual hostility and conflict between the Capulet and the Montague and ends with tragedy of two lovers.
The abundant swordplay throughout the play affects the theme of conflict used in ? Romeo and Juliet?. In this play, there are spontaneous actions of the characters rather than their thoughts. There are many types of conflicts to be appeared in this play such as family conflicts society conflicts and generation conflicts. When lady Capulet wants Juliet to marry Paris but Juliet wants to marry Romeo, appears to be a conflict between them. There is also conflict in the two families and their general relationship with their children.