Capulet family servants instigate a confrontation with Montague family servants. Montague Benvolio raises his sword and seeks to break up the altercation. Friar Laurence arrives and stops the fighting.
This is how we get the first fight scene in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Although it isn't the only fight scene in the play, it is an important one that sets the stage for everything that follows.
The Capulets and Montagues are two noble families who live near each other in Verona. They have been feuding over the past few years because of a marriage agreement that was never fulfilled. The Montagues married Kate Capulet against her will because she was a Capulet and this violated the peace treaty between their families. Now that the marriage has been canceled, there should be no more reason for hostility between them but the families continue to fight anyway. This continual state of conflict leads up to the start of Act 1 Scene 1.
On the night before Valentine's Day, several members of both families meet at the church where they plan to announce a peace treaty between their families. However, during the ceremony, news comes that the Prince of France has fallen sick and there is fear that he might die.
Scene 1 of Act I The play begins with two Capulet servants discussing their dislike for the Montagues. When they meet two servants from the Montague household, a brawl ensues. Benvolio attempts to break up the fight, but when Tybalt arrives, things worsen. Friar Laurence tries to persuade the feuding families to put aside their differences and unite against their common enemy, Prince Paris, who has taken Juliet as his wife.
Scene 1 ends with an announcement that Romeo is looking for his cousin. He believes that she can help him convince her father to change his mind about marrying off his only daughter. As he searches, he encounters Tybalt, who has been sent by the Montagues to kill him. However, after hearing that Romeo is only acting under orders from his commander, Mercutio, Tybalt allows him to go.
Meanwhile, back at the palace, Princess Juliet has just married Paris. Her mother, Queen Maria, blames herself for not stopping her from going through with the marriage. Desperate to clear her name, she sends word to the Capulets that if they want revenge, then they should come visit her at the palace.
At the wedding banquet, the Capulets arrive first. They send word that they are coming, so the Montagues leave to avoid a fight. But before they can get away, the Capulets attack them.
Analysis and Synthesis Scene 1 of Act I. The action begins with a riot on the streets of Verona between servants from the wealthy Montague and Capulet families. Tybalt, the Capulets' kinsman, draws Benvolio (Romeo's cousin) into the melee while seeking to stop the fight. However, Romeo pushes his way in and kills Tybalt.
Why does Tybalt want to break up the fight? Because he feels that Romeo is too quick to draw his sword against others. Also, he is one of the Capulets and should therefore be fighting against their family's enemies - the Montagues. Finally, he wants to protect Benvolio because he knows that Romeo will kill him if given the chance.
Who are the main characters in this scene? Tybalt is the only character who appears in the opening scene of Act I. He is a prince among men and possesses many great qualities but also has some serious flaws. Benvolio is a gentle man who loves peace and doesn't like violence. Romeo is a young nobleman who desires love but doesn't know how to obtain it. Balthasar Velasquez's painting "The Banquet of the Lords" shows Tybalt talking with Romeo and Benvolio before the start of the brawl.
What role does music play in this scene? Music is important in this scene because it creates a mood.
Benvolio, Act 1, Scene 1 When they meet two servants from the Montague household, a brawl ensues. In the end, Mercutio tries to defend himself but fails. He dies on the scene.
Benvolio stops the fight because he knows that this is not the place nor the time for it. If someone had been hurt, then there would have been no stopping it. As it is, all they will do is get themselves into more trouble so Tybalt can cut them down later on his sword. Mercutio tries to defend himself but it's too late. He has been hit by several swords and died instantly.
Romeo confesses to Benvolio that he loves Rosaline, but she does not love him back. Furious, Benvolio leaves him and goes to fight with the Montagues' servants.
Scene 2 The next morning, we find Romeo still brooding over Rosaline's rejection. He decides to go to Friar Laurence to ask for his advice on how to win her heart. When Romeo arrives at the friar's cell, he finds that Laurence has gone to Montagu Castle to beg Lady Montague to allow him to tell Romeo what he knows about love.
Scene 3 At Montagu Castle, Lady Montague is unhappy that her son Benvolio has joined the quarrel the previous day. She tells him that if anyone gets into trouble because of it, he should just leave the town immediately. However, Benvolio refuses to listen to her and stays behind at the castle to face his fate.
Scene 4 As soon as Benvolio leaves, the Montagues attack Romeo with swords. Although he manages to defeat most of them, one of the Capulets reaches him first and wounds him heavily before escaping. Terrified, Romeo runs away from the scene hoping he will not be found out.