What Is the Nature of the Conflict in Act One, Scene One or Romeo and Juliet?

587 Words May 13th, 2013 3 Pages
Right from the start Shakespeare lets us know there will be conflict throughout the play as in the prologue it says "from ancient grudge breaks to new mutiny." And "where civil blood makes civil hands unclean" This lets us know that there will was a past grudge and in this play the grudge will be re-ignited and it also suggests there will be fighting throughout the play and conflict will escalate. These two lines are about the feud between the families. It shows that it is an ancient grudge, which has been brewing for many years. By repeating the words civil, Shakespeare is stressing the fact that they are all civilians but the pride within each family has led them to violence and evil.

The play then goes straight from the prologue
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Gregory and Sampson serve more than one purpose in the first scene.
The argument between Sampson and Gregory at the start of the play is more of a comical hate rather than a genuine one. Sampson begins the brawl between the Montagues and Capulets by flicking his thumbnail from behind his upper teeth, an insulting gesture known as biting the thumb. He engages in this juvenile and vulgar display because he wants to get into a fight with the Montagues but doesn’t want to be accused of starting the fight by making an explicit insult. This has aspects of comedy as the scene of the servants is trivial hate.
Because of his timidity, he settles for being annoying rather than challenging. The thumb-biting, as an essentially meaningless gesture, represents the foolishness of the entire Capulet/Montague feud and the stupidity of violence in general. Moreover, Sampson is clearly the more violent of the two shown in the quotation;
“The heads of maids or their maiden heads.”(1.1.23)
This shows the audience that Sampson is very aggressive and it is showing sexual aggression and violence which gives the audience the impression that the violence can only get worse as at the moment it’s only on a low level between servants rather than people further up the hierarchy of the two

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