Who causes the fight in Act 1 Scene 1?  

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pirateteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Romeo and Juliet begins with a fight between the servants of the Capulets and Montagues.  The play opens with Sampson and Gregory. two Capulet servants, walking down a Verona street discussing that they would like to start a fight with the Montagues and what they would do if they walked into them.  Since the sidewalks are small, the weaker servants are to move aside, so since they are servants for the house of Capulet, they believe they are too strong to move it.


A dog of the house of Montague moves me. GREGORY To move is to stir, and to be valiant is to stand. Therefore if thou art moved thou runn’st away. SAMPSON A dog of that house shall move me to stand. I will take the wall of any man or maid of Montague’s. GREGORY That shows thee a weak slave, for the weakest goes to the wall


Once the two run into the Montague servants, they begin trading insults and antagonizing them until the Montague servant, Abram, takes the bait to start the fight.

By opening the play with a fight between the servants, Shakespeare is showing us the depths of the feud,  Not only do the Montagues and Capulets hate one another, but that hatred trickles down to their servants.


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