Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Essay

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Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

In the opening scene of William Shakespeare's play, 'Romeo and Juliet' he introduces us to the Italian walled city of Verona in the north of Italy that is being ripped apart by two powerful noble families in a ancient feud. Such things were common in the days when Italy was ruled by independent city-states and principalities.

Shakespeare does not specify an exact date and so most people take it as being set in the late medieval - early renaissance.

In the text the play opens with an unseen narrator giving a short description of the plays background and inviting the audience to watch. Such things were common in the writers' day as there was little or
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They are walking through the square making jokes and witty puns. Although these are humorous the subjects they are discussing are quite serious and behind the humour is a darker aspect of the play.

As these two are walking through the square they see some of their enemies the Montagues, they insult them with a rude gesture and start a conflict. The humour in the dialogue of the Capulets and Montagues adds to the suspense of the scene. Will the Montague see it as a joke and ignore it or will he attack the Capulets for being rude? The mocking leads to a fight in which both families get heavily involved.

In this scene the plays main protagonists are introduced, Benvolio Montague - a peaceful man but not afraid to stand for his family. Tybalt Capulet - a hot headed swordsman with a unfaltering hate for the Mont agues. Old Capulet and Old Montague - the patriarchs of each household. Also in the later part of this scene we meet Romeo for the first time.

Benvolio tries to break up the fight but is challenged by Tybalt, soon many members from both families are involved. The town militia is called to quell the riot and so is the city's regent, Prince Escalus. Escalus is a powerful man who is angered at the constant battles between Capulets and Montagues, he issues a warning, the next people to start a

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