What is going on in act I scene I when Montague asks, "Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach? Speak, nephew, were you by when it began?"whats happening when he is asking bevolio this and the...

What is going on in act I scene I when Montague asks, "Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach? Speak, nephew, were you by when it began?"

whats happening when he is asking bevolio this and the prince comes in???

Expert Answers
missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Before Lord Montague and Lord Capulet came in, Benvolio was trying to keep the peace, but Tybalt was there trying to stir up the action. Tybalt is an angry and bitter Capulet looking for any chance to get into it with a Montague.

An officer and citizen tried to get involved in breaking up the fight but that not working sent someone to the Prince.

It might also be worth noting that the fight started as a war of words and gestures. There was provoking going on. Much like any street fight or school fight of today, these guys looked for a reason, found one and were concerned about who was going to be at fault. This is part of Montague's question too. He didn't want his guys to be to blame.

 

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

What's going on here is that the servants of the Montagues and the Capulets have been fighting in the streets of the town.  Benvolio helped stop the fight.

Before the lines you mention, Lord Capulet and Lord Montague showed up and they were going to get into the fight as well.  But then the Prince arrived and broke things up.  After he leaves, Montague speaks "your" lines.

In the lines you mention, Montague is asking what happened and why the fight started.  He is asking Benvolio if he saw the start of the fight.

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Romeo and Juliet

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