Romeo and Juliet Family Feud: Prejudice, Tragedy, the Irreparable Consequences
Prelude to a Tragedy: Tybalt’s Challenge and Mercutio’s Death
“The future will be affected by today’s terrible events. Today is the start of a terror that will end in the days ahead,” Romeo says with a deep feeling of rage. Before Romeo says this, Tybalt, who seems to have such a prejudiced mindset, decides to challenge Romeo. Romeo refuses, so Mercutio decides to fight for him instead. Romeo draws his sword and tries to break up the fight, but Tybalt takes advantage of this and stabs Mercutio. “I’ve been hurt. May a plague curse both your families,” Mercutio shouts in pain. (Crowther) The death of Mercutio triggers Romeo to want revenge for the death of his friend.
The Aftermath of Mercutio’s Death: Romeo’s Banishment
Rage guides the actions of Romeo and causes Romeo to kill Tybalt. Prince Escalus enters the scene and comes to a decision to exile Romeo from Verona. Prince Escalus tells Montague and Capulet that all these deaths have been caused because of their bloody feud. (Crowther) As known in Romeo and Juliet, Juliet takes a sleeping potion, but everyone believes she is ‘dead.’ The Capulets organize a funeral to bury Juliet in a tomb. Paris stays afterward to say a few words to Juliet. Romeo goes to see Juliet at her tomb, knowing that he could be killed. Paris hides before Romeo sees him.
How it works
The Fatal Encounter at the Tomb: Paris and Romeo’s Duel
The family feud causes Paris to assume that Romeo has evil intent. (Kerschen) Paris, who has prejudice towards Romeo because of Tybalt’s death, provokes Romeo to start a fight. This fight costs Paris his life. Romeo sees his beautiful wife in a tomb and can’t take it for so long. He drinks a bottle of poison and dies. Not very long after Romeo dies, Juliet wakes up from the sleeping potion she took. She sees her beloved husband dead and becomes heartbroken and stabs herself with Romeo’s knife. Juliet dies. This causes a big outbreak in the city of Verona. The deaths of these innocent people could have been prevented if the family feud had stopped and not let prejudiced thoughts keep it alive.
A Heartbreaking Resolution: The End of the Family Feud
The deaths of these honest people caused The Montague and Capulet family to finally come to their senses. The bloody feud led to prejudiced feelings against two families that ended in tragedies. The families come to a peace agreement to stop the family feud. Even though the family feud came to an end, the tragedies are irreparable. Even Capulet says it himself, “They were poor sacrifices of our rivalry!” The tragedies may have been a tool to bring an end to the feud and show how dreadful the consequences can be of such prejudiced behavior.
- Kerschen, L. “The Family Feud in Romeo and Juliet: A Historical Fabrication.” Studies in Philology, vol. 113, no. 1, 2016, pp. 109-125.
- Shakespeare, William. “Romeo and Juliet.” The Oxford Shakespeare, Oxford University Press, 2008.
- Halio, Jay. “Romeo and Juliet: A Guide to the Play.” Greenwood Press, 1998.
- Novy, Marianne. “Love, Death, and Patriarchy in Romeo and Juliet.” In Shakespeare and Feminist Criticism: An Annotated Bibliography and Commentary, Garland, 1991, pp. 146-156.
- Rostron, A. (2018). The Dickey Amendment on Federal Funding for Research on Gun Violence: A Legal Dissection. American Journal of Public Health, 108(7), 865-867.
- Seward, Desmond. “Romeo and Juliet: The Real Story.” History Today, vol. 65, no. 2, 2015.