Starting from the beginning of the prologue, Shakespeare expresses the idea of fate. Fate is one of the significant themes constantly bespoke throughout the play. The downfall of Romeo and Juliet’s love is probably the most popular and obvious one. There is so much written in the stars about the predestination of these two “star crossed lovers.” In addition to this line, Shakespeare then adds another line ending with these three striking words: death-marked love. In just these first lines stated in the prologue, it foreshadows the ultimate fate of eternal death.
However, the prologue isn’t the only thing that convinces us that death is the two lover’s fates. It is also the continuation of the tensions between the Montagues (Romeo’s family) and the Capulets (Juliet’s family). As the reader, I know background knowledge on the plot of this play “Romeo and Juliet.” What I didn’t realize is that there is no notable reason why these two families are feuding. It seems that they are just doing it because…well just because. This unexplainable quarrel might also point to how simply their paths were never engineered to be this way.
In the fight between both families set in the market, it is clear that this event was pointless. Pointless for the logical things, but not pointless for the play and the viewer watching it. In this opening scene, it not only shows how serious the dispute between the Capulets and Montagues are but it also shows the qualities of both the families–It gives evidence for the first line: “Two households, both alike in dignity.” I think this line in the prologue is extremely important as it gives reason to why these families have so much hostility and why they still do. It all comes down to the fact that they are both stubborn and just want to one-up each other. By being perceived as better, it gives each family respective pride.
This can be seen in their language and actions amongst each other. For instance, Sampson bites his thumb. Translating this action into modern terms essentially means he is giving a middle finger. With a slight shock, Abram asks if he is quarreling. This meaning wanting to physically fight each other.
The reason this does not fully break out into a fight immediately is the carefully selected words each character replies with. While biting his thumb, Sampson replies that he is biting his thumb, but not specifically at Gregory. It shows a sense of dignity, elegance, and cleverness. With both families trying to bear each other’s responses, they add polite language such as “sir.” This could be viewed as a petty remark to set forth the manners and how well educated each family member became.
Overall, it was determined from the start that Romeo and Juliet would never find their happy ending. The two lovers who share such a strong attraction and attachment put up a worthless fight against the repelling attitude of their families.