Regarding Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and Escalus' responsibilities, if I were to write a persuasive essay on this topic, I think that I would discuss the sense that this has been going on a long time—much too long for a Prince not to do something constructive.
Escalus should have done something sooner because the feud has been going on for so long that no one even knows what the original fight was about—and still Escalus done nothing.
I would include comments from the beginning (Act I, scene i) that show how pervasive the hatred is, which must be obvious even to Escalus: it's not just that the families are fighting, but it has reached down to the servants who are willing to kill each other for the sake of the family. (I don't think I could be paid enough money in any job to put my life in jeopardy for the sake of my boss and his personal problems: this simply shows the obsessive trend that has permeated all levels of their society.)
Another situation that points to how out of control the situation is can be seen (in Act III, scene i) when Tybalt kills Romeo's friend, Mercutio. Being related to the Escalus himself, I would have thought this would...
have been the last straw for the Prince. Just because Mercutio is a friend to a Montague does not constitute reason for his death at Tybalt's hand. And even though Tybalt is after Romeo for disrespecting the Capulets by attending their party, he reachespast Romeo to kill Mercutio—other than emotionally hurting Romeo, it would make no sense, except that Tybalt is a hot-head. And in doing this, Tybalt has lashed out at Escalus, not just Romeo. This should have been the wake-up call Escalus needed.
In essence, when looking for blame, is it not possible to find Escalus at fault? If he, as their ruler, is interested in protecting his people as a father would protect his children, shouldn't he have taken steps prior to Romeo's banishment, rather than waiting for tragedy to take place? Based on the depth of this problem within the society, it was inevitable that something truly tragic would ultimately take place. Escalus should have been more concerned and more forward-thinking.