- There are three fights over the course of the play, and they shift in their style:
- The first is a large brawl between lots of members of the two families. But ultimately no-one is injured or killed, and the audience finds out there have been similar fights before. The fact that the Prince does not punish them, may well imply that there have been no deaths up until this point. He probably would have mentioned it in his speech. Thus, there is something farcical about the feud itself, particularly given that the first brawl begins with a servant biting his thumb at another.
- The next is the biggy: Mercutio v Tybalt v Romeo. This one is borne out of honour; Tybalt wishes to fight Romeo for coming to their party. But in the end it is Mercutio who dies, a man who is not a member of either family. Romeo kills Tybalt, not for hating him as a Capulet (not possible, now that Romeo himself is a part of that family by marriage), but to avenge his friend’s death.
- And the final one is a personal one: Romeo v Paris. __This is arguably the most tragic, as two doomed men fight pointlessly over the death of a woman who isn’t dead. __Though time and again we are reminded of the feud between the families, no-one dies for being a Montague or a Capulet. They die for their actions.
- What role does violence play within the play?
- Is it the most destructive aspect of the play?
- Is physical fighting the only form of violence the audience sees?