What are some quotes demonstrating rivalry in Romeo and Juliet?
The main rivalry in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is that between the Montagues and Capulets. Shakespeare never gives a reason for the feud but we know, from the very beginning that there is a great deal of hatred involved. It sometimes spills over into the streets, as in Act I and Act III. There are several quotes in each Act that demonstrate the intensity of the rivalry.
The opening lines of the Prologue announce the rivalry between the two wealthy families of Verona:
Two households, both alike in dignity
(In fair Verona, where we lay our scene),
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at
them, which is disgrace to them if they bear it.
What, drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word
As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee.
Have at thee, coward!
Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,
Profaners of this neighbor-stainèd steel—
Will they not hear?—What ho! You men, you beasts,
That quench the fire of your pernicious rage
With purple fountains issuing from your veins
O me! What fray was here?
Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all.
Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love.
Patience perforce with willful choler meeting
Makes my flesh tremble in their different greeting.
I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall,
Now seeming sweet, convert to bitt’rest gall.
My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!
Prodigious birth of love it is to me
That I must love a loathèd enemy.
I pray thee, good Mercutio, let’s retire.
The day is hot, the Capels are abroad,
And if we meet we shall not ’scape a brawl,
For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.
Romeo, the love I bear thee can afford
No better term than this: thou art a villain.