Pride and Honour in William Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet - FREE Coursework Example

This short essay aims to analyze William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet". In Romeo and Juliet, while the Montagues and Capulets feel a great deal of familial pride, William Shakespeare warns of pride that goes too far…
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Pride and Honour in William Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet

Extract of sample Pride and Honour in William Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet

Capulet also slings insults at Tybalt, calling him a ‘saucy boy’ and a ‘princox.’7 Then a dance ends, and Capulet jumps between entertaining and complimenting his guests, ordering servants, and lecturing Tybalt.8 His divided attention indicates that perhaps he is not hoping honour his city and restore peace, but rather to appear as a gracious host. Nevertheless, Shakespeare does use Capulet to relay an ominous and prophetic message to Tybalt: ‘This trick may chance to scathe you.’9 Capulet chastises Tybalt for his youthful arrogance, warning that it may one day hurt him, though it remains unclear whether Capulet has understood true honour, or whether he simply wishes to look good in front of a crowd. Meanwhile, Tybalt has ignored both the Prince and Capulet. He vows that ‘this intrusion shall,/Now seeming sweet, convert to bitt’rest gall.’10 He sends a note to Romeo, challenging him to a duel,11 but Romeo refuses.12 Mercutio, declaring Romeo’s rebuff a ‘calm, dishonourable, vile submission,’13 fights Tybalt instead. Audiences can see the irony in this, as it is this violence that the Prince denounced as dishonourable to Verona. The duel degrades into a series of immature jests and insults, and Mercutio is slain by Tybalt. He dies with a curse on his lips: ‘A plague o’ both your houses./They have made worms’ meat of me.’14 Here Mercutio acknowledges, though too late, that the enmity between the Montagues and Capulets is not honourable, but that it harms their fellow men, and dishonours them, reducing them to ‘worm’s meat.’ Tybalt, however, once again ignores the warning, instead taunting Romeo further and meeting the same end as Mercutio. It is only with the deaths of Romeo and Juliet that Capulet realises the true meaning of honour....
It is only with the deaths of Romeo and Juliet that Capulet realizes the true meaning of honor. The Prince laments that he has ‘lost a brace of kinsmen’ and ‘all are punished’ for it. Capulet is the first to respond¬, demonstrating he has learned the importance of honouring one’s neighbours and countrymen: ‘O brother Montague, give me thy hand./This is my daughter’s jointure, for no more/Can I demand.’ By giving Montague his hand as a dowry for his daughter, Capulet shows he has been humbled by his loss, and now wishes to honour peace and brotherhood in Verona. Capulet and Montague agree to erect gold statues of the lovers, whom Capulet calls ‘poor sacrifices of our enmity.’ The new peace is a testament to the lesson Capulet has learned about the dangers of excessive pride and the importance of honoring one’s country and fellow man, as one would honor their own family. Read more
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