Romeo and Juliet

Essay by rbettsHigh School, 11th gradeB+, October 2014

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Romeo and Juliet Conflict essay

A play that features conflict at its heart is Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. It is a tragic love story of Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet. A young couple from warning families, they have a passionate love affair which ends with their tragic suicide.

Conflict is at the heart of all good drama and Shakespeare was very aware of this. Conflict is featured both internal and external throughout Romeo and Juliet.

An example of external conflict is "The ancient grudge" between the Montagues and Capulets which frames the whole play. This is evident from the beginning, which started in a dramatic fashion of 'the third civil brawl' between members of the two families in the centre of Verona. We find another example of external conflict when Tybalt (Juliet's cousin) spots Romeo at the Capulet party. He fires into a rage and immediately orders his servant to "Fetch my rapier" threatening to strike Romeo down.

Capulet acts as the voice of reason stating how Romeo has a good reputation, he makes it very clear "He shall be endured". Tybalt reluctantly agrees to withdraw but swears revenge on Romeo, which has fatal consequences in act three scene one.

The character of Mercutio is a good example of external conflict in the play. He is very temperamental changing from happy and playful to angry and violent in a split second. Shakespeare illustrates this instantly by giving Mercutio both prose and iambic pentameter at different points of the play, depending on state of mind. Later in the tragic act three scene one we find he resorts to prose when he's taunting Tybalt with his insults such as "King of Cats", or responding to the arrival of the Capulets with "By my heel I care not".

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