In Romeo and Juliet, to which two characters is Prince Escalus related?

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andrewnightingale's profile pic

Posted on

In Act 3, scene 1, after the brawl in which Tybalt is killed, the Prince arrives on the scene, and upon witnessing the carnage, makes his relationship to one of the morbidly injured characters clear. He says:

I have an interest in your hate's proceeding,
My blood for your rude brawls doth lie a-bleeding;

In this instance we are not exactly sure who he is referring to. Tybalt or Mercutio? We only discover who it is in a later reference. The reference is made in the Prince's speech at the end of the play:

And I for winking at your discords too
Have lost a brace of kinsmen: all are punish'd.

This is said after the discovery of Romeo, Juliet and Paris' bodies in the Capulet's crypt. We can only conclude that the "brace" (two) the Prince refers to, are Paris and Mercutio, since Romeo is not related in blood to either Mercutio, Paris, Juliet or Tybalt.

Although Juliet is related to Tybalt who had also been killed, we can correctly assume that the Prince is not referring to her, since he would have used an alternative means to refer to her, rather than include her in his reference to 'kinsmen". Also, there are no references in the play as to her being related to the prince or that she is of royal blood. We do, however, know that Paris is royalty, since there are numerous references to him being a count or 'county'. So the reference can only be to him in this instance and Mercutio in the former. 

The Prince's two kinsmen are therefore Mercutio and Paris.

robertwilliam's profile pic

Posted on

Good question. There are two kinsmen of the Prince in the play, though this fact is very regularly overlooked in production. The two members of the royal family are Mercutio (no, he's not a Montague by birth, even if he is friends with them!) and Paris.

Here's what the Prince says at the very end of the play:

See what a scourge is laid upon your hate,
That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love!
And I, for winking at you, discords too,
Have lost a brace of kinsmen. All are punish'd.

"A brace" - means two. And the two dead kinsmen of his are Mercutio and Paris.

Hope it helps!

mercut1469's profile pic

Posted on

Prince Escalus, sovereign of Verona, is related to Count Paris and Mercutio, according to the text of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. In those days a relative was often referred to as a "kinsman." Paris is an important character because his request to marry Juliet figures prominently in the plot. Mercutio is one of the most interesting characters with his unpredictable nature and razor wit. Both characters will end up dead.

Shakespeare indicated Prince Escalus's relationship to Mercutio in Benvolio's explanation of the events which take place in Act III, Scene 1 in which both Mercutio and Tybalt are killed. In the aftermath of the bloodshed, Benvolio addresses the prince by saying,

O noble prince, I can discover all
The unlucky manage of this fatal brawl.
There lies the man, slain by young Romeo,
That slew thy kinsman, brave Mercutio.
Benvolio is referring to Tybalt as the man who "slew" (killed) the prince's kinsman, "brave Mercutio."
 
Count Paris is also discovered to be related to the prince in Act V, Scene 3 after Romeo has killed him because of a misunderstanding over Romeo's presence at Capulet's tomb. Paris has come to pay his respects to Juliet, who is supposedly dead, and Romeo has come to commit suicide by her side. After killing Paris, Romeo recognizes him and says,
In faith, I will.—Let me peruse this face.
Mercutio’s kinsman, noble County Paris!
It is probable that since Paris is related to Mercutio, then he must also be related to Prince Escalus. This relationship is confirmed later in the scene when the prince laments not only the deaths of Romeo and Juliet but also his kinsmen (plural). Moreover, the prince chastises himself for not doing enough to end the feud between the Montagues and Capulets:
See what a scourge is laid upon your hate,
That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love,
And I, for winking at your discords too,
Have lost a brace of kinsmen. All are punished.

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