Romeo and Juliet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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How can I write three arguments for my Romeo and Juliet thesis statement? My thesis statement is: In the play Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare demonstrates that the rivalry between the Montagues and the Capulets represents the immense damage a feud can affect on everyone involved.​

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Megan Miller eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There are a number of examples that show how a feud effects everyone. You can read over these and choose three to examine and expand upon in your essay.

The feud affects the parents. They lose their children, in every sense of the word "lose." Even if Romeo and Juliet did survive, they were planning to run away and leave their families. With the death of their children, the parents lose the futures of their families. Also, Lady Montague dies after Romeo's banishment. Lord Montague says:

Grief of my son's exile hath stopp'd her breath

The Nurse also deals with the loss of Juliet. Although not her child, she has cared for Juliet, and we see in the play how close they are. We can also see how saddened she is by Tybalt's death.

The feud affects the children. Romeo and Juliet can't be together because of their parents' feud, and so they sneak around. We can think about how this relationship might have been different without the feud. Perhaps they would have not rushed into things, taking time for their love to develop over time instead of getting married so soon. Or perhaps, since Juliet's father wanted her to get married, she could have married Romeo with the approval of the families. I certainly think they would not have died if there was no feud.

Mercutio is not a Montague or Capulet, yet he gets caught up in the feud. His famous line shows how his fate might have been different without the feud:

A plague o' both your houses!

Mercutio and Paris are both kinsmen of the Prince. The Prince is affected by the feud through the loss of his relatives, and also because he is charged with keeping the peace. The Prince must do what he can to try to stop the bloodshed. We can also consider—is this feud taking his time away from other political matters that need attention?

Friar Laurence gets caught up in the feud by trying to help Romeo and Juliet. Through his confession at the end, we see that he is left with guilt following the bloody consequences.

Finally, I think the first scene shows us how many characters are caught up in the feud. Sampson, Gregory, and Abraham are minor characters, and yet they are the first we see fighting. They are our introduction to the feud, showing it extends past major players like Romeo and Tybalt, or even Lord Montague and Lord Capulet. In this scene, the First Citizen gives us the perspective of the common people:

Clubs, bills, and partisans! strike! beat them down!
Down with the Capulets! down with the Montagues!

Everyone is affected by the fighting on the street.

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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As the play's opening proclaims, "civil blood makes civil hands unclean." Over and over, we see the damage the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets causes. Three examples follow:

Juliet's cousin Tybalt kills Romeo's friend Mercutio in a duel. Romeo kills Tybalt and is banished from Verona. Romeo kills himself when he thinks Juliet is dead and Juliet kills herself when she finds Romeo dead.

Romeo and Juliet can't marry openly.

Romeo and Juliet are led into lies and deceit. 

Although the stage becomes littered with dead bodies, Shakespeare demonstrates that none of the characters who are killed deserve to die. They are simply ordinary young people caught in a feud that grinds people up. So first, Shakespeare argues that the family feud damages people by causing death. Second, he shows that two people in love are damaged by the feud because they are not allowed to marry (though they do in secret). Finally, the feud causes damage because it drives Romeo and Juliet into lies and tricks that ultimately backfire. 

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