How was the Montague family in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet "dysfunctional"?   

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This would be a little bit easier to answer if it were about the Capulets because they seem to have more stage time and more to say as they do their best to control Juliet. The Montagues, however, were dysfunctional in a few ways. First, Romeo didn't feel like he could go talk to his father about personal things. It's not quite clear why, but one could infer that since Romeo disagreed with the family feuding with the Capulets that this might have been a point of agitation between father and son. Perhaps Romeo felt like his father could have done more to stop the brawling since he was head of the household. Whatever the cause, Romeo decides to take his personal problems to Friar Lawrence rather than his father. This schism creates a communication gap that if bridged, may have been one relationship that could have stopped the kids from killing themselves. The mother seems to have no power or control over her husband or son, so she doesn't do much to stop anything. In the end, maybe Romeo's parents should have been there for him more. They should have been more involved in his life and given him some structure so he wouldn't be a wild child running through the streets of Verona making hasty decisions.

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Romeo and Juliet

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