How do Romeo and Benvolio gain entrance into the Capulets' ball, considering the fact that they are Montagues and an invitation is required?

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William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Romeo and Benvolio crash the party wearing masks. They learn about the party quite by accident in Act 1, Scene 2. An illiterate servant has been sent out with a list of names of people he is to invite to the feast, and he is confused. He asks Romeo to read the list for him, and in this way Romeo his friend Benvolio learn that there will be "a fair assembly" at the Capulets' home. Shakespeare inserts some controversy between two Servingmen at the opening of Act 1, Scene 5, apparently for the purpose of showing that the Capulet household is in a chaotic state because of the big event. This explains why it is so easy for Romeo and Benvolio to slip in so easily. Even though the hot-tempered Tybalt recognizes Romeo and complains to his uncle about their enemy's son's intrusion, Capulet is in a merry mood, as Shakespeare takes care to dramatize, and does not want to do anything to disrupt the fun that everyone is enjoying. Capulet thinks it is part of the good fun that young men should crash his party to dance with the girls. Evidently Romeo and Benvolio are both careless about concealing their identities and are not wearing their masks throughout much of the scene.

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Romeo and Juliet

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