What causes the fight between the Capulets and the Montagues in Act I, scene 1?
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What really causes the fight is the fact that the Montagues and Capulets hate each other. They hate each other so much that even their servants hate one another.
It is these servants who are the immediate cause of the fight. Sampson and Gregory (Capulet servants) are walking along when some Montague servant come out. Sampson insults them and they start fighting after a bit of a verbal argument.
When Tybalt comes in, he makes the fight worse. Benvolio has been trying to break the fight up. But Tybalt decides that he wants to fight Benvolio because he hates Montagues so much.
The fight is a mere flare up in the feud between the Montagues and Capulets. And in reality, this particular fight is really among the servants of the two houses. (Even Benvolio is little more than a two-bit role player in the ranks and file of the House of Montgue.) However, when Tybalt enters everything changes. Now on the scene you have one of the leading members of the family, one notorious for his short fuse and his pit-bull like distemper nonetheless (Baz Lurhman's film captures this element beautifully.)With Tybalt involved, what was a rather minor fight within the feud is catapulted to another level that requires severe action from the Prince.
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