How might Romeo be affected by his society using examples from Act One of Romeo and Juliet?

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cbetances | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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Romeo is greatly affected by the society in Verona.

In Act I he is affected in the following ways:

His family, the Montagues, is involved in an ancient with the Capulets. He is expected to take part in this grudge but he does several things to go against this. He is not part of the inital fight scene in the play because he is off contemplating his "love" for Rosaline. Also, he crashes the Capulet feast with Mercutio and Benvolio where he falls in love with the only daughter of his sworn enemy. Society demands that they hate each other but Romeo goes against this and pursues Juliet anyway. Also, society's expectation would be for Romeo to be a "typical" guy. Fun-loving, chasing women, playing with friends. Instead, Romeo often goes off by himself and seems lost in love and thought. He is later chastised for being effeminate because of this.