Pride In Romeo And Juliet

997 Words4 Pages
Having pride in one’s name is not necessarily a bad thing, but having pride with no humility can hurt others. An author may use the names of characters to hint at his or her theme and display motifs that relate to the theme throughout the story. William Shakespeare is the kind of author that uses great quantities of motifs to reveal his theme. Shakespeare uses the motif of pride in one’s name in many instances to help the audience better understand the conflict between the Capulet and Montague houses. In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare uses the pride in one’s name to highlight that pride without humility leads to violence and the demise of many of the characters. Romeo sees his name of Montague as a barrier to his love for Juliet, a Capulet,…show more content…
In the prologue, Shakespeare gives an introduction to the story and he foreshadows Romeo and Juliet’s deaths. In order to inform the reader of the conflict he writes, “Two houses both alike in dignity/From ancient grudge breaks new mutiny” (Prologue. 1-3). When Shakespeare writes the two houses are alike in dignity, he means that they both have the same amount of pride for their families. He also writes that the houses have an ancient grudge, meaning that they have been fighting for a long time. Tybalt is a prime example of the conflict between the houses. Tybalt is a violent zealot for the Capulet house with a lot of pride in his name. When Benvolio, Romeo’s Cousin is trying to stop a fight between servants of the two houses, He asks Tybalt for assistance. Instead, Tybalt says to him, “As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee,” and attacks him (1.1.66). Tybalt does not hate Benvolio for his personality even though they are complete opposites. He hates him just because he bears the name of Montague. A person’s name should not be what defines them but rather their words and actions. Tybalt does not see things peaceful like Benvolio. He prefers violence over peace and pretends to be judge, jury, and executioner for the Capulets. Tybalt’s pride in his name causes much violence and the deaths of many characters. The houses’ pride in their names affects everyone around them but they are too caught up in their own feud to care. An example of the effect the feud has on others is Mercutio. Mercutio is Romeo’s best friend who always tries to cheer him up. However when he is fatally wounded by Tybalt in a fight between Tybalt and Romeo he tells them, “A plague o’both your houses!” (3.1.106). The people in each house hate each other with such a passion that they are oblivious what their actions do to the innocent people around them. Tybalt was so caught up in his hate for the Montagues that he did not
Open Document