What threat does the Prince make to Lord Montague and Lord Capulet in Romeo and Juliet?

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In act 1, scene 1, two Capulet servants, Sampson and Gregory , are walking down the streets of Verona when they come across two Montague servants. Sampson then makes a derogatory gesture by biting his thumb at them and the servants from opposing families begin to fight. The fight escalates...

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In act 1, scene 1, two Capulet servants, Sampson and Gregory, are walking down the streets of Verona when they come across two Montague servants. Sampson then makes a derogatory gesture by biting his thumb at them and the servants from opposing families begin to fight. The fight escalates into a brawl, which involves both Benvolio and Tybalt. Several citizens also participate in the melee as Lord Capulet and Lord Montague join the brawl. Suddenly, Prince Escalus enters the scene with his escort and puts an end to the melee. He then announces that three riots have broken out in the city as a result of the Capulet and Montague feud. Prince Escalus then offers a severe warning to both houses by saying,

"If ever you disturb our streets again, Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace" (Shakespeare, 1.1.87-88).

He then orders the crowd to disperse immediately and instructs Lord Capulet and Lord Montague to see him in court later that afternoon. Before Prince Escalus exits the scene, he once again reiterates his threat by saying,

"Once more, on pain of death, all men depart" (Shakespeare, 1.1.93).

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I assume you are refering to the opening scene of the play, which features a brawl between various henchman from both of the feuding houses. We can see that the Prince is absolutely exasperated by this continuing conflict that appears to have no end. The Prince arrives just as the two Lords of these houses are about to fight together, and responds with anger. Note what he says to them:

If ever you disturb our streets again,

Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.

Thus the Price tells them that the next person to disturb the peace in Verona will face death as punishment. Note of course how this becomes incredibly important to the plot when Romeo kills Tybalt, as it means he has broken the Prince's law and therefore is open to punishment.

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