The play primarily focuses on the Capulet household, so little is made of Lord Montague. He appears in the opening brawl, trying to get involved, but is forcibly told not to get involved by his wife. He then asks Benvolio to speak to Romeo and find out why he is unhappy, claiming that he nor anyone else can find out why. Though his language is ambiguous, Romeo is very willing to talk about his misery and in fact Benvolio discovers the issue within about two minutes of being with him. This suggests that Montague may not be the best at having deep and meaningfuls with his son. However, he does convince the Prince not to kill Romeo, only banish him. He then reappears in the final scene, informing them unexpectedly that his wife has died of grief, before ending the feud with Capulet. Montague acts as a contrast to Lord Capulet, one being an overbearing father and the other being a detached one. He also acts as a reminder that this ongoing feud is being continued by two older men, who have little direct involvement, highlighting the pointlessness of it all.
Lady Montague barely says anything in the play. Yet, Shakespeare specifically has Montague tell them that she has died. Her lines earlier in the play are her telling her husband not to get involved and her expressing gratitude that Romeo was not involved in the brawl. Though she says little, it is all to do with her care for her family and not wanting them to fight. This emphasises the patriarchal society as, if she was head of the house, the feud might be over by now. It also emphasises the emotional impact that these events have had. There is no doubt that the Prince’s words at the end of the play are true. All have been punished by this feud, and perhaps none moreso than Lady Montague, wise enough to know what is best but powerless to intervene.
The Chorus appear twice in the play, to present Prologues at the start of Acts 1 and 2. They act as the voice of fate, outlining what is to come. This is an important feature as audiences should be seriously considering whether fate or decisions (or the two intertwined) have brought about this tragedy. The second Prologue is often forgotten (and omitted) serving to remind the audience about Romeo’s rapid change of heart and the danger of his love for Juliet. Perhaps more interesting is that no more follow it. It gives a pace to the play, as if there is no time for such interjections anymore. It also opens up the ambiguity of whether fate or the characters are responsible, by taking away this outside voice which has an overarching knowledge of what is to come.
Lady Montague to her husband: “Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe.” (Act I, Sc i)
Lady Montague on Romeo: “Right glad I am he was not at this fray.” (Act I, Sc i)
Lord Montague on Romeo’s sadness: “I neither know it nor can learn of him.” (Act I, Sc i)
Chorus on Juliet: “She steal love’s sweet bait from fearful hooks.” (Act II, Prologue)
Lord Montague after Romeo kills Tybalt: “His fault concludes but what the law should end,/ The life of Tybalt.” (Act III, Sc i)
Lord Montague: “My wife is dead to-night;/ Grief of my son’s exile hath stopp’d her breath.” (Act V, Sc iii)
About Juliet: “I will raise her statue in pure gold.”_ (Act V, Sc iii)_