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Violence and conflict are central in Romeo and Juliet. Discuss this theme with reference to at least three scenes in the play.

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Introduction

Violence and conflict are central in Romeo and Juliet. Discuss this theme with reference to at least three scenes in the play. It is the violence and conflict that make this play exciting and thrilling. You would think that Romeo and Juliet's main theme would be that of love. However, violence and conflict also became one of the main themes in this play. There were all kinds of examples of different types of disorder and conflict, brawls and fights between the two houses, the Montagues and Capulets, the violence of angry passion and the unnaturalness of love. At every turn the two lovers were faced with some kind of violence. The violence and conflict seems to carry the theme of love between Romeo and Juliet to its tragic end. The images of darkness portray death, violence, sadness and the secrecy of the two lovers. Romeo and Juliet did not quarrel with each other; the love between them was deep and passionate. It was more powerful than hatred and death. Romeo and Juliet did not have any disagreements between them. But they were caught in the middle of a violent feud between their two families. The war between the Capulets and the Montagues was an (The prologue- Line 3) 'ancient grudge' that had lasted many generations. The Capulets and Montagues were unable to be civil towards one another, this is the main reason why the feud lasted for many generations. ...read more.

Middle

The two houses knew when violence was going to occur. (Act 3 Scene1 Line 1-3) 'the day is hot, the Capels are abroad. And if we meet we shall not 'scape a brawl, For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.' This quote implies that the violence that surrounded them was too hot to handle. You can also see that the hatred between the two families was so strong, that it was on their minds a lot. If the two houses meet they will not be able to escape a fight from one another and when they do meet, blood will spill. So it would be wise that they should prevent themselves from meeting each other. There was not only conflict on the streets of Verona but it was within their houses as well. It was Juliet's fate to marry Paris but because she fell in love with Romeo, she did not want to marry Paris as she did not love him. Lord Capulet expected his daughter to obey him. However, she did quite the opposite and he became violent and furious with his daughter. (Act 3 Scene 5 Line 193 - 195) 'I'll give you to my friend. An you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets, For, by myself, I'll ne'er acknowledge thee.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Some of the disagreements were verbal. They would not only draw their swords but they would mock each other. By mocking one another they would push someone to fight and cause conflict. (Act 1 Scene 1 Line 71) 'Have at thee coward.' By calling someone a coward, the other person is obviously going to show that they are not. The best way they knew to settle comments like this was to draw their swords. It was small pathetic things like that, that caused violence. Nevertheless, it was the violence and the conflict that made the play not only a love story but a tragic love story. If the Montagues and the Capulets had just put all their differences aside then Romeo and Juliet would not have contained any violence and conflict; what a boring trouble-free love story Romeo and Juliet would have been without all the violence. Violence and conflict is one of the main themes in Romeo and Juliet which, keeps the audience entertained. All of the brawls that the two families faced showed the deep hatred towards one another. However, it is ironic that the two houses were only able to put their differences aside when they lose the two things that were most precious to them, Romeo and Juliet. This also showed how stubborn the Montagues and the Capulets were. Shakespeare included the violence and conflict into the play to show that Romeo and Juliet was not just a love story with a happy ending. Approx. 1588 words (not including quotes). 1 Amrit Bagha ...read more.

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