How does the theme of social disorder in the Romeo and Juliet contribute to the play?

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iklan100 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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While not a major or very significant theme in Shakespeare's ''Romeo and Juliet'', there is, acording to some critics and scholars a distinct theme concerning the 'balance' between (a) a Sense of Order versus (b) Civil/Social Disorder and the 'need' or 'imperative' (as Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch termed it) to maintain order within the Veronese body politic.

Verona, like many medieval Italian cities, had been 'plagued' by a great factional/family feud i.e. in this case, that between Montagues and capulets--and this feud had disturbed the town's peace and public tranquility and general law and order from time to time over a long time. This situation was already deemed bad and was considered to be an insult against the larfer universal order (as believed by people back then) and this needed to be urgently 'set aright'.

Thinsg ultimately come to a head when because of Romeo and Juliet;s nascent love and Romeo's fight against Tybalt (Juliet's kinsman), young and popular Mecutio, relative of the ruler/Prince of Verona, is murdered as a 'by stander' and friend of Romeo's.

The Prince's ire can no longer be contained, now that the civil disobedience, the Montague-Capulet feud has spilt over to Verona's streets, claiming the life of one of his own house. Harsh and firm steps must be taken. At this point Romeo is exiled.

Later on, after Romeo and Juliet both die as a result of the feud's repercussions, the Prince makes his last passionate speech, 'a plague on both your houses' , and condemns the feud and both families and orders that the feud be formally ended -- thus, at last, whilst claiming poor Romeo and Juliet, 'star crossd lovers', their deaths are not in vain; 'order' is finally restored, and 'discord' ended.


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