How is the feud between the Montagues and Capulets depicted in Act I, scene i of Romeo and Juliet?

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The Montagues and Capulets are two of the most distinguished families in the city of Verona, the geographical setting of the play. The two families are equal in power and authority. Since these two households hold such prominent positions, their actions influenced the general day-to-day affairs of the city. Their behaviour obviously also piqued the interest of both the general populace and people occupying rank. Furthermore, their influence would extend well beyond their immediate families because they would also have loyal followers and subjects. As such, they would probably be the subject of much gossip. 

This is, essentially, the situation we are confronted with in the opening scene of the play. We are informed in the prologue that these two esteemed families have been caught up in an "ancient grudge." They have become lifelong enemies. The reason for this animosity is never explained, but it seems to have existed for generations. At the time of the action in the play, the Montagues'...

(The entire section contains 830 words.)

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