What is the setting for the play "Romeo and Juliet" Act 1, sc i-ii?

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coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the play 'Romeo and Juliet' by William Shakespeare, Act 1 Scene 1 takes place in 'a public place' in Verona and this is significant in understanding the words,full of import, in the closing action of the play. The public place is in Northern Verona, Italy - an important town of which the two families are of high status and power. The reason it is important that this quarrel be seen to take place in full public view is that the ancient feud between the Montagues and the Capulets needs to be seen to be disturbing the peace of the town on a regular basis. In his crtiticism at the end of the play, the Prince includes himself as having responsibilty for the deaths of 'a brace' of young people. He has turned a blind eye to the disruptive quarreling that the townsfolk have endured for years. In this scene we are a party to the disturbance first hand.

lit24 | Student

The stage direction for Act I Sc. 1 reads, "Verona. A public place."

Verona is an important city in the North East of Italy.

'A public place,' refers to an open space that is open and common to all citizens irrespective of ethnic, gender, class, or socio-economic distinctions.

The two servants from the house of Capulet, Sampson and Gregory deliberately pick up a quarrel with Abraham and Balthasar the servants from the house of Montague and are about to fight when the Prince arrives and puts an end to their quarrel.

The stage direction for Act I Sc.2 reads "A Street." Meaning, a street in the city of Verona.

Capulet is holding a masquerade feast and he asks Paris to try to woo Juliet.  Capulet dispatches a servant with the guest list for the the feast, which Romeo and Benvolio get a chance to look at. Romeo decides to go to that party in order to gaze fondly upon Rosaline.