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The role of conflcit in Romeo and Juliet

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Conflict in Romeo and Juliet The general theme of William Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' is how two young, 'star crossed lovers' fight against the historical conflict of their constantly feuding families, for their right to be together and love one another. The play is full of physical violence and civil disobedience. Shakespeare, right at the beginning of the play, lets us know that conflict will feature largely when he says in the prologue 'from ancient grudge breaks to new mutiny' and 'where civil blood makes civil hands unclean' This immediately tells us that an old grudge will spark to life and as a consequence, fighting will break out and blood will be spilt. The conflicting brawl between the two families is a constant obstacle for Romeo and Juliet. Such brawls are evident from the family servants to Lord Capulet and Montague themselves. ...read more.


The distinct contrast between two equally honourable men's views on their family's conflicts shows how out of hand and seemingly unsolvable the problem of the feud is. This act is also an example of shakespeares use of stage craft to immediately show in a big and powerful way the extent to which people are willing to fight for the conflict that exists between then two families. The drawing of swords is the first site we get of weapons, a sign of war, in the play. The fact that they are brandished by two very honourable and respected members of the two families is purposively made by Shakespeare not only is it a stereotype image for conflict in general but its also to make the audience realise that the higher members of the families are just as likely to act irresponsibly and take a life, as the servants on the street. ...read more.


This theme of death and love linked continues until the inevitable conclusion of two suicides. This is an act to preserve their love as it seems to them more poignant than their physical existence. The biggest example of conflict happens at the end of the play when Mercutio unwisely starts a fight with Tybalt. The fight escalates so much that Tybalt ends up stabbing Mercutio after Romeo unsuccessful attempts to break up the brawl. Mercutio dies cursing plagues upon the houses of Montague and Capulet. Tybalt then challenges Romeo to a fight which ends in Tybalts death from Romeo's hand. After refusing to flee from Verona at the risk of losing his love, Romeo is banished to a nearby town called Mantua. The reason Shakespeare includes conflicts is because it gives the story more unpredictability, making it more interesting, separating it apart from a thousand other love stories. He also links love with conflict and death to show the power of emotion most importantly love. Ben Davisson www.william-shakespeare.com ...read more.

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