Conflict Analysis Romeo And Juliet English 9 Essay

736 words - 3 pages

Act #1 Response Paper: Prompt #2
In 1.1 of Shakespeare’s tragedy ​Romeo and Juliet​, Shakespeare immediately introduces
conflict to set the stage for the rest of the play. The two households, Capulets and Montagues,
have external conflict with one another. The families have been feuding for some time and do
not get along. This long standing feud between the two families has been a conflict for so many
years that no one really knows how it all started. The first scene reveals the conflict between the
families to introduce the dilemma that Romeo and Juliet face by falling in love and how it will
eventually cause tragedy in their lives.
The first encounter of the families’ feud is established when Sampson and Gregory,
servants of the Capulets, were on a stroll in the town of Verona. From the onset, it is clear that
the servants were looking to fight. The men were armed with swords and small shields.
Sampson’s plan to not run from any conflict with the Montagues became more evident from his
words. Sampson stated, “I mean, an we be in choler, we’ll draw” (​Romeo and Juliet​, 1.1.3). “A
dog of the house of Montague moves me” ​(​1.1.7). Sampson and Gregory (Capulet) meet
Abraham and Balthasar servants of Montague. Sampson symbolically bites his thumb; this
indicates that he is looking for a fight. Conflict arises immediately because biting one's thumb is
an insulting gesture (comparable to flipping one off in today’s time). If one does not react to the
insult, they will be disgraced according to Sampson, “Nay as they dare. I will bite my thumb at
them; which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it” (1.1.38-39). Sampson claims that he was not
biting his thumb at them, but just biting his thumb. Sampson and Gregory want to fight, but do
not want to initiate the fight so the law remains on their side. Sampson and Gregory's stroll
through town looking to start a fight escalates into a more dramatic situation than what was
expected. The friction between the families has caused chaos and death for the town of Verona
and as long as the feud continues there will be more tragedy to come. Shakespeare uses 1.1 to

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