Who are some minor characters in Romeo and Juliet, and what's their role/function?i

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hilahmarca eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A good place to start would be with the servants Sampson and Gregory (from the Capulets) and Balthazar and Abraham from the Montagues.  These characters are both significant and interesting because Shakespeare uses them to set the tone in Verona in Act I, Scene I.  The fact that these four are mere servants to the families, yet they take it upon themselves to carry on the pointless grudge shows how deep rooted the feud is.  Without these periferal characters continuing to spark the rivlary, it may have ended long ago; however, their hot-headedness and dogged loyalty to the families rile up the entire town and rekindle the ancient rivalry.  It could be argued that without these minor characters scuffling in the street,  the Prince would never have had to enact his new policy of death to the next person to commit violence.  Without this law in place, Romeo and Juliet wouldn't have been faced with the dilemma that fell in their lap after Romeo killed Tybalt.