Close

09/07/2019

I have to do an essay on the effects of the fighting in Romeo and Juliet has on Romeo and Juliet. I need help.?

QUESTION
I have to do an essay on the effects of the fighting in Romeo and Juliet has on Romeo and Juliet. I need help.?
i am not too sure how to go about this, i’ve read the book and i still can’t figure out the effects other than that the fighting split them apart from each other. anything else?

ANSWER
Another person posted a similar question, so here is my answer because it works for this one too.

Ok, let’s start from the beginning.

1) Romeo’s life is constantly in peril due to the fighting between the families. In Act 1, Scene 1, the latest round of street fighting irks Prince Escalus enough to order death to the heads of the families if anyone in their families publicly fights again. So, right from the get go, there’s that hanging over everyone’s heads. Lord/Lady Montague are actually relieved that Romeo isn’t involved with the street fight at the start of the play. These are fights “bred of an airy word” in which numerous members of each household get hurt. They start over nothing and escalate quickly. (Side note– Escalus=escalate. His decree of “if ever you disturb our streets again, your lives will pay the forfeit of the peace” escalates the conflict in the story.)

2) The long standing feud between the families means that Romeo and Juliet, despite being an appropriate marriage/match, cannot be together. If they were not from opposing families, neither side would take issue with their courship since they are both “alike in diginity”. Ironically, Lord Capulet actually doesn’t have a problem with Romeo. When he is spotted at the Capulet feast at the end of Act 1, Capulet chastizes Tybalt for wanting to confront him. “Content thee, gentle coz, let him alone; He bears him like a portly gentleman; And, to say truth, Verona brags of him To be a virtuous and well-govern’d youth:
I would not for the wealth of all the town Here in my house do him disparagement: Therefore be patient, take no note of him: It is my will, the which if thou respect, Show a fair presence and put off these frowns, And ill-beseeming semblance for a feast.” Everything they do has to be in secret because of the family feud.

3. It is the younger generations that cause the problems, as evidenced by the fact that it is Tybalt that gets insensed by Romeo being at the party and who calls him out to a fight. When Tybalt finally confronts Romeo (Act 3, Scene 1), Romeo offers a kind word and a handshake to Tybalt’c challenge to a fight. “I do protest, I never injured thee, But love thee better than thou canst devise, Till thou shalt know the reason of my love: And so, good Capulet,–which name I tender As dearly as my own,–be satisfied.” Remember, Romeo is just coming from his secret wedding to Juliet. It is Mercutio (Mercutio=mecury/mercurial, one of volitile temperment) that calls Tybalt back to fight, even as Romeo walks away. Had Mercutio just left well enough alone, he wouldn’t be dead, stabbed under Romeo’s arm.

4. At the end of the play, Romeo is confronted at Juliet’s tomb by Paris. Paris recognizes Romeo and thinks he’s up to no good. He challenges and tries to “arrest” Romeo (since he is banished). They fight and Romeo kills Paris, without realizing too late who he is. Even if Romeo and Juliet didn’t commit suicide at the end, Romeo now has royal blood on his hands– a crime that banishment simply could not cover.