What three passages in Romeo and Juliet portray the role of disorder and hatred as well as the consequences?  

Expert Answers
mercut1469 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The beginning of Act I, Scene 1 is a prime example of the hatred and disorder which is prevalent on the streets of Verona because of the bitter feud between the Montagues and Capulets. The Capulet servants, Gregory and Sampson, have nothing better to do than walk the streets describing how they would like to rape the Montague women and, when they come across the Montague servants, are quick to resort to demeaning insults (biting their thumbs) in order to instigate a fight. The hatred is increased when Tybalt, Juliet's cousin, comes on the scene and threatens to kill Benvolio, who is attempting to calm the situation. Rather than agree to peace, Tybalt expresses his intense acrimony:

What, drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word
As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee.
Have at thee, coward!
The brawl is eventually broken up when the Prince arrives on the scene. The consequence of this disorder is that the Prince declares that further fighting in the streets will be punished by death:
If ever you disturb our streets again,
Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.
Hatred again rears its head in Act I, Scene 5 as Tybalt becomes enraged at hearing the voice of Romeo at Capulet's party. Once he recognizes Romeo, who is wearing a mask, he becomes disorderly, calling for his sword and alerting Lord Capulet to the situation. Tybalt is perfectly willing to disrupt the party and challenge Romeo. Lord Capulet, however, is unwilling to have his party destroyed by the feud, but it takes some convincing to get Tybalt to back down:
He shall be endured.
What, goodman boy? I say he shall. Go to.
Am I the master here or you? Go to.
You’ll not endure him! God shall mend my soul,
You’ll make a mutiny among my guests,
You will set cock-a-hoop, you’ll be the man!
The consequence of this episode comes later. Tybalt, not able to engage Romeo, sends a letter to the Montagues, challenging Romeo. This challenge comes to fruition in Act III, Scene 1.
 
As in Act I, Benvolio is the voice of reason as he urges Mercutio to get off the street and to avoid a confrontation with the Capulets. Once Tybalt enters the scene, however, disorder rules the day. He and Mercutio trade insults and when Romeo arrives, Tybalt is ready to fight. Romeo, who has just married Juliet, is quick to back down, telling Tybalt that he actually loves him. Mercutio, who knows nothing of Romeo's relationship with Juliet, cannot stand this acquiescence and challenges Tybalt himself:
O calm, dishonorable, vile submission!
Alla stoccato carries it away.
Tybalt, you ratcatcher, will you walk?
The fight between the two ends with Mercutio killed. Romeo, in a fit of hatred and revenge, assaults Tybalt and kills him. The consequences include two dead men and Romeo banished. Instead of wielding the death penalty against Romeo, the Prince has mercy and simply banishes him from Verona because of the nature of the conflict.

 

Read the study guide:
Romeo and Juliet

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question