Romeo and Juliet written by William Shakespeare is arguably the most famous love story of all time. It’s the story of a boy and a girl from belligerent families who meet and fall in love. However their lives were far from perfect, they encountered many obstacles along the way – a grudge between their families made it impossible for them to seek approval; the fight between Romeo and Juliet’s loved ones with an outcome that affects their destiny and the question for Juliet to follow her heart or her family orders.
All of theses conflicts played key rolls contributing in the development of the plot and the characters, unfortunately the story ends with death for both lovers, tragically. Forbidden love, when society prohibits two people from being together, is the principal conflict in the play Romeo and Juliet. Montague, family of Romeo, and Capulet, family of Juliet, are only surnames but serve as the reason Romeo and Juliet can not be together. The Montagues and Capulets had an ancient grudge, a feud that had gone back through generations and claimed many lives.
A feud so long they do not even remember why they hate each other. The opening scene to the play was an altercation on the streets of Verona between the two adversary families “two households, both alike in dignity” (prologue. 1). The prince of Verona, Escales, stopped the brawl by saying, “Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word, By thee, old Capulet and Montague; If ever you disturb our streets again, your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace. ” (1. 1. 83-84, 90-91), the Montague and Capulets have caused 3 unnecessary public fights and the next person to create a disturbance will be executed.
Romeo had been whining and weeping about how Rosaline is the definition of perfect and how she has left him brokenhearted. However, in act 1 scene 2 Capulet sends his servant out with a list of people invited to the masquerade ball. The illiterate servant trotted around the streets looking for someone to read the names written on the paper. Fate caused the servant and Romeos paths to cross, Romeo read out the names only to discover that Rosaline was expected to attend. Furthermore, Romeo thought it would be a good idea to go make an appearance at the Capulet ball with the goal of finding and rekindling the love with Rosaline.
Surprisingly, on the contrary, Romeos eyes could not leave the body of a young lady by the name of Juliet. Instantly the hole that Romeo had in his heart for Rosaline was quickly erased and replaced with the love for beautiful Juliet. From the moment Romeo and Juliets eyes meet they know they are the ones for each other but they later find out that they originate from feuding families. Juliet at the young age of thirteen spoke maturely, “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse they name, Or if thou wit not, be but sworn my love, And no longer be a Capulet” (2. . 33-36). In other words Juliet does not care that they are from fighting families, she proposes that one of them change their last name so they can be together and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, the dispute between Capulets and Montagues become an obstacle for the lovers, preventing them from experiencing happiness. Meanwhile in the play, other conflicts are arising specifically the dilemma between Romeo friend and Juliets cousin. Mercutio, Romeo’s aggressive friend, and Tybalt, Juliet’s vain cousin, provoke a duel and draw their swords unaware that both would end up dead.
The idea of a joust was initially brought up by Tybalt when he challenged Romeo. However, Mercutio believed that he had a better chance to defeat Tybalt. He was first to draw his sword in the duel and was willing to take the burden of fighting the vain man. Thus, Mercutio spoke his final words “Help me into some house, Benvolio, Or I shall faint. A plague o’ both your houses! They have made worms’ meat of me. I have it, And soundly too. Your houses! ” (3. 1. 101-104) after being stabbed by Tybalts sharp sword.
The intention of Mercutios last words were telling Benvolio that the feud between the families is stupid, that he feels like he was only bate, and he finish off cursing towards the Capulets and the Montagues. Hence, Mercutio departed earth and watched the rest of the story from above, little did he know someone would soon be watching with him. When Romeo discovered that Mercutio was no longer with him, animosity and venom flowed through his vains. Revenge, was the only word in Romeos mind; he did not want Tybalt to get away with murdering his friend.
Subsequently, Romeo approached Tybalt with a sword in his hands and spoke the words of a grieving man, “That late thou gavest me, for Mercutio’s soul. Is but a little way above our heads, Staying for thine to keep him company. Either thou or I, or both, must go with him. ” (3. 1. 122-125). In translation, Romeo spoke to Tybalt saying Mercutio is in heaven watching us as we speak, he is waiting for someone to go give him company, either you or me or both of us. Next, Romeo’s sword punctured through Tybalts skin and Tybalt was on his way to meet Mercutio once again.
Consequently, due to the proclamation the prince made earlier stating that the next Montague or Capulet that disturbs the peace of Verona will be sentenced to death. The Prince, Benvolio and Lady Capulet discussed the events that took place, with the ruling that was expressed through the words of Escales, “Therefore use none. Let Romeo hence in haste, Else, when he’s found, that hour is his last. ” (3. 1. 190-191), they banished Romeo from the city, and if he is found in Verona he will be killed.
Most people would be happy with the verdict, however, Romeo was acrimonious and heartbroken because although he could live anywhere else in Italy, Verona was the only place he wanted to live, he wanted to be with Juliet. Nevertheless, Romeo departed from the city of Verona creating an even tougher situation for him to be with Juliet, but he never gave up, he believed nothing could stop their love. Meanwhile, other disagreements and quarrels took place, for instance, between Juliet and her parents. William Shakespeare wrote the tragic Romeo and Juliet play in the Elizabethan era, 1500’s.
During this time period it was very common for parents to choose the husband for their daughter, arranged marriage. In the play, Juliet’s father, Capulet found the kinsman of the prince and a suitor for Juliet by the name of Paris. When Lady Capulet, Juliet’s mother, brought up the topic of arranged marriage Juliet replied with, “I’ll look to like, if looking liking move: But no more deep will I endart mine eye, Than your consent gives strength to make it fly. ” (1. 3. 98-100). Juliet agreed to go into it with an open mind and try to like him, but if her mother wants her to pursue him she will follow her wishes.
The night of the masquerade ball her mother introduces her to Paris, who behaves very presumptuous acting like they are already married. The same night Juliet meets Romeo and her love for him burns like a oil fire. As a result, at the end of the night Juliet spoke from her heart to Romeo, “Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow, By one that I’ll procure to come to thee, Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite, And all my fortunes at thy foot I’ll lay, and follow thee my lord throughout the world. ” (2. 2. 144-148), If you truly want to marry me, I will send a messenger to find you tomorrow and you can pass on a essage telling me the location and the hour we will be wed. When her mother approached Juliet to talk about Paris, Juliet contradicted herself and told her mother “I will not marry yet. And when I do, I swear shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate, Rather than Paris” (3. 5. 121-123). This was the first time Juliet had defied her parents, she did not want to marry yet, and when she is ready to marry she will we saying “i do” to Romeo instead of Paris. Overall, it was tough for Juliet to go against her parents words, it was a rigorous conflict she had to endure, however what her heart wanted won the battle over her parents wishes.
A Feud between the Capulets and Montagues made it impossible for Romeo and Juliet’s families to approve; the fight between Tybalt and Mercutio triggered the banishment of Romeo; the disagreement in the Capulet family of who Juliet will marry are the three main conflicts leading up the the catastrophic deaths of Romeo and Juliet. William Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet, the most famous devastating love story of all time. Romeo and Juliet were so in love there was no question of life outside each other, they were going to be together or die trying. “For never was a story of more woe, Than this of Juliet and her Romeo” (5. 3. 309-310)