College-Bound Reading Book Project
June 5th, 2013
Romeo and Juliet in Comparison to the Discriminations of Modern Society
“Two households, both alike in dignity/ In fair Verona, where we lay our scene...” (Prologue to Romeo and Juliet. 1-2) is a statement only half true in this italian themed caper. Through mindless violence, a debacle concerning a certain pair of star-crossed lovers and the tragedy that ensues, and the simple pressures of daily life, the streets of “fair” Verona are dirtied and soiled. On an emotional rollercoaster of comic highs and tragic lows, parties are crashed, guys and gals fall in love, dirty jokes are made, youth revolt, and people drop like flies. Because of this senseless feuding between two fundamentally like clans, it could be argued that the bias-based conflict is relatable to the discrimination of today.
Comparisons can be made between the bias concerning immigrants and the attitudes towards rival clans when contact is made. A great example of this is the scene in which the three musketeers of the Montague family crashes the Capulet Masque in an attempt to lighten gentle Romeo’s mood. Not unlike the discomfort felt when immigrants integrate into a people’s midst, Tybalt rages after spotting outsiders among his fellow partygoers. When told to calm himself, he continues, “It (his outrage) fits when such a villain is a guest./ I’ll not endure him” (1.5.73-74). Such as most discrimination as this go, Tybalt merely finds fault with Romeo’s origin, and not with his persona himself. This rationalizing is similar to how it is commonly thought that immigrant groups will do more harm than good, a thought provoked by the sole knowledge that they are not native and therefore do not “belong”. Simply because he is a Montague, the Capulet is suspicious of his intentions, and expects his presence to affect the gathering negatively, as implied when he professed that the outsider is, “A villain...