In Act I, Scene I, Lady Capulet and Lady Montague display a different attitude towards the family fued than their husbands. Please describe the contrast.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both women are shown to be averse to the fighting that is taking place in fair Verona.  The introduction that the audience has to both of them is that they are forces of pacifism in an environment charged with the volatility of fighting.  Consider Capulet's exchange with his wife as representative of this.  Capulet demands his "long sword" while his wife uses "crutch" interchangeably with a sword, indicating her perception of both.  Lady Montague is even more demonstrative against her husband's wishes to fight.  As he brandishes his sword, she warns him in a stern and focused manner that "Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe."

Both women are shown to be forces of reason in a setting where the lack of it is dominant.  Lady Montague shows that she is more concerned with her son than the feud with the Capulets.  After the Prince admonishes both household leaders, she pivots her husband's attention away from fighting and towards their son.  In doing so, another aspect in which the women are shown to be less focused on fighting than the men is evident.

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Romeo and Juliet

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