What will Prince Ecalus decide to do with the death of Romeo and Juliet?

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rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Prince is angry at the Capulets and Montagues for pursuing their feud, which he observes has led to the deaths of Romeo, Juliet, and Paris. He holds them accountable, as well as himself, for failing to quell the dispute earlier:

Where be these enemies? Capulet, Montague, 
See what a scourge is laid upon your hate, 
That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love! 
And I, for winking at you, discords too,
Have lost a brace of kinsmen. All are punish'd.

In the wake of this angry speech, the scions of the two families, Capulet and Montague, agree to put aside their long-standing feud, clasping hands and promising to honor their children's memory. The Prince does not make clear exactly what he plans to do to bring about justice, saying simply (if cryptically) that "some shall be pardon'd, and some punished," but it is clear that he means to use the deaths to ensure that the families no longer contribute to civil strife in his city. 

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Romeo and Juliet

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