Violence and Conflict Are Central to Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet is the classic love story written by William Shakespeare. The play is about a ‘pair of star crossed lovers’ who are the victims of the ‘ancient grudge’ their two families are embroiled in. Although it is a play about love, it does not come without its violence and conflict, for the play opens and ends with exciting and tragic brawls between the two families, Montague and Capulet. It is because of the two families’ hatred for one another that Romeo, Montague, and Juliet, Capulet; despite the love that they had for each other they saw that they could not be together in this life. In my essay I will discuss the theme of ‘violence and conflict’ of three scenes and how they affect the ending of the play and also why they were so important.

Back in the 16th century, when Queen Elizabeth 1st ruled, the English public loved nothing more than entertainment. They especially liked violence, for bear-baiting and cock-fighting were high on their lists of fun. Which maybe a reason for the violence and conflict in Romeo and Juliet, for if 16th century audiences would have shouted rude criticism and thrown what ever they had in their hands straight at Shakespeare’s actors, if they disliked what they saw. However most the audience in the pits, groundlings, would have been drunk before they came to the theatre or got drunk while they were there, therefore complexes stories would have gone over their heads. These are reasons for why I think Romeo and Juliet was liked back then. Where as it may not be complexes it does leave you on the edge of your seat, also the scenes of violence are not random scenes of entertainment they affect the ending in the play and have tragic consequences.

Act 1 scene 1 is the opening fight scene in which the two households of Montague and Capulet come across each other in a market square in fair Verona. They soon become involved in arguments when a Montague servant bites their thumb at the Capulet servants and when they lose their...