February 27

Throw your mistempered weapons to the ground, / And hear the sentence of your movèd prince.

Tonight you should read the first four pages of Act I, scene i, of Romeo and Juliet,  (lines 1- 105).  Please be sure to check out the verso (the left side of the page) for the summary of the scene and extra information about specific words, as you read.  Also, be sure to ANNOTATE, but keep it useful for you as we discussed in class.   Be sure to note special parts of the text that you found interesting, unusual, or surprising;  please also keep a list of questions you would like to bring up with the class.

Then, write your response here.   For the response you MAY want to consider the following questions:

  • How does the fight start?  develop?  conclude?
  • What does this tell us about the overall conflict?
  • How does this part of scene i establish the setting for the play?
  • What predictions or theories do you have based on the events so far?
  • How was reading the play different from the movie version we saw together?
  • How did seeing the movie version first change your understanding of the text?
R&J blog #2

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Posted February 27, 2019 by equinson in category Romeo and Juliet

26 thoughts on “Throw your mistempered weapons to the ground, / And hear the sentence of your movèd prince.

  1. Emma Garbowitz

    After reading Act One, Scene One of Romeo and Juliet, I came across many thoughts of what was happening. As soon as the characters are introduced a fight breaks out almost instantly. A Capulet man named Sampson says “I will bite my thumb at them. which is disgrace to them if they bear it.” After Sampson said this, a fight broke out between the Capulets and Montagues. Shortly after, more people began to join into the fighting until the prince came and caused the fighting to conclude. He gave them a warning to no longer fight or else there would be severe consequences in which they may even be killed. This fight tells the reader a lot between the two families’ conflict. It seems as though, even from the slightest argument, large fights can occur. Furthermore, this goes to show that the fight must be ongoing and bigger than just Sampson biting his thumb at the Montagues. A large fight would not normally be created over a problem as small as this.
    Compared to watching the movie, reading the play was a very different experience. When watching the movie, I had a better understanding of what was going on and had a visual of what was happening. This provided me with more insight and background about the people, setting, and plot. However at the same time, reading the book was an interesting experience as well. Although it was difficult to read the dialect of the characters, I got a true sense of what the characters are really like and how they behave.
    I have many predictions about what is going to happen in the next part of the book. For example, I think that the reader will find out about what caused the ongoing fight between the Montagues and Capulets. I will learn about the history of the two families and what caused them to drift apart. Another prediction that I have is that the brawl between the Montagues and Capulets will cause problems for not only the two families but for other people including townspeople and the prince of Verona. This will create even more tension and death between everyone.

  2. Myles Ng

    This scene shows the views of each house of the other. Both believe that the other is the villain and that they are keeping the peace. Each believes they are in the right, but in fact both are wrong to assume that they are right. The fight was not necessary because either house did nothing to the other besides antagonize, promoting the other house to retaliate violently. The fight had started as a conflict between two men but soon escalated into multiple people fighting. This was not the first time this has happened,”Have thrice disturbed the quiet of our streets.” Each house seems to think lower of the other and talks down to one another, “No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I
    bite my thumb, sir.”

  3. josepha4

    After completing act one scene one of Romeo and Juliet it was obvious that neither of the families liked each other but that their anger towards each other was fueled by small things. One man from started to bite his thumb at another one and an entire sword fight broke out. It was blown out of proportion. Then the prince came out and disbanded the fighting, he also threatened that the next time that they fought that they would be executed. I think that were soon going to learn as an audience what happened between the two families to engage in such violent acts.
    Watching the movie was a different experience than reading the play. It was easier to understand the characters much more and it was easy to get an understanding of the character while in the book it doesn’t make a difference who is talking because we don’t have as much insight yet, however we will get an opinion of the character as we get further into the reading. On the other hand seeing the movie scene first made it much easier to understand what was happening in the play.

  4. Kate Ma.

    The fight starts very early in this scene, starting with Samson and Gregory and a couple of Montague members. Samson and Gregory seem like trouble-makers, starting the fight for no real reason, only for dominance of the Montague’s. They seem too caught up with their feuds with the Montague’s that they just start fights for pride, sort of like animals when they fight. This creates the overall conflict and the setting; overall conflict being the uncontrollable feud of the Capulet’s and the Montague’s and the setting being the streets of Verona Italy with the two grand houses of both families. Based on the events so far, I have concluded that eventually the fighting will persist and the only event that will cause the two households to come to terms with their ignorance is the death of their family members: Romeo and Juliet. When I read the text, the fighting did not see as intense as in the movie. I did not find any people getting hurt or killed for that matter, while the movie was extremely intense. During the movie, people were injured, cut, stabbed, and nearly killed, which brought the two families loathing capabilities into true perspective. Also, the movies allowed me to visualize the scenes and know which words were emphasized. Watching the movies allowed me to overall understand better.

  5. Maddie

    In the first four pages of “Romeo and Juliet”, A fight breaks out between the Montagues and the Capulets. It is obvious from the start that the Capulets and the Montagues despise each other. The fight starts when two Capulet servingmen encounter two Montague servingmen. They start an argument, which eventually leads to the fight. Sampson bites his tongue at The Montague men, which was a rude gesture where they lived, and then they started sword fighting. Once they started to fight, everyone began to fight. Most of the people from each family joined in. It develops into a bigger fight than it should have been, and many of the people don’t even know the reason of the fight. They fight is ended when the prince of Verona approaches the two families and threatens that if they fight again, they will be put to death. This first scene helps set the stage for how the rest of the play is going to be like. It shows how the two families treat each other, and gives the readers a sample of the way the characters speak.
    The movie versions that we watched today in class were different from each other, and different from the book. They were different from each other in that one was more modern and took place in Miami, while the other takes place in Verona during the Renaissance. The movies are different from the book because They skip some lines in the movie to make it shorter. Also, the characters in the movie are younger than Shakespeare portrayed them in the play. However, seeing the movie helped me get a better picture of what was happening in the book.

  6. jane

    After reading the first scene of Act One of “Romeo and Juliet”, I have noticed many things. First, I think that both of the clips we watched in class portrayed the scene very well, since I was able to get the same ideas from watching the clips as I did from reading a part of the book. Second, I noticed how the fight really started. Two servants for Capulet made a rude gesture to a member of the Montague family. The Montague got upset and they all began to fight. What struck me as surprising was that the fight began pretty quickly and easily. In my opinion, it isn’t that big of a deal if someone makes a rude gesture, or at least not important enough to fight over. The men were eager to fight each other, which goes to show that the feud between the two families must be pretty strong. The fight was broken up by the Prince of Verona, who threatened the kill the men if they disturbed the streets again. He also implies that this isn’t the first time that the two families’ hatred for each other has disturbed the streets before. This makes me wonder what the punishments for the families will be, and how this will effect the pre existing anger between the two families.

  7. Laila

    In the first scene of Romeo and Juliet, two Capulet men start a fight with two Montague men. Eventually, their families join in on the chaos and begin one of the many Capulet versus Montague fights. The fight only comes to a stop when the prince demands that they stop disturbing the peace of the town. The prince also states that this has been done several times before which makes me think: What exactly led to all of the bad blood between these two rival families? Due to how cruel both families are to one another, I predict that they will never be able to make amends, even for the sake of their children.
    Compared to the two clips we watched today in class, I have noticed both similarities and differences. Whether being set in modern day Miami or in its original setting of Verona, no Romeo and Juliet story ever strays from Shakespeare’s dialogue. The only difference is that some dialogue from the play, without being changed, was cut out from the movie clips. In both movies, we were able to see things more in detail, whereas in the play it said things like “they fight.” Both directors also added their own little symbols or details to help convey their stories. It is interesting to see how people can work with the same story, yet make it so different.

  8. maxwellw

    The scene definitely sets a tone and narrative for the rest of Romeo and Juliet. It opens with a brawl on the streets of Verona between servants from the affluent Montague and Capulet households. This conflict will most likely give us a taste for conflicts yet to come and shows us how violent the two houses are. While attempting to stop the fight, Benvolio, Romeo’s cousin is drawn into the fray by Tybalt, kinsman of the Capulets. The fight rapidly escalates as more citizens become involved and soon the heads of both households appear on the scene. At last, Prince Escalus arrives and stops the riot, forbidding any further outbreaks of violence on pain of death. When this scene occurs it gives the reader a chance to observe how a drop of a dime could set of great conflict in this play.

  9. Sunna

    After finishing the reading, many things struck me as interesting. For one, the Capulets and Montagues definitely have a loathing for each other that is triggered by small things. However, it is obvious that there is a deeper hatred beneath all of that. They seem to like to pick fights and find a reason to quarrel. When I read the text, I noticed that it was very different from watching the movie. You can see in the movie how much it affects the villagers. Most people don’t care about which family is “better”, but they are still pulled into the mess. Perhaps the villagers will eventually become tired of it and fight back. It will most likely take the deaths of Romeo and Juliet for the two families to see how ignorant and childish they have been acting.

    1. Mikayla Friedman

      I agree, I don’t think the people in the town want all of this fighting over a family feud. I think they’re justified in feeling this way. Why should they be pulled into this mess that is just because of two families’ hatred for each other?

  10. Emily

    After reading the beginning of the first act I noticed something very important about the fighting. The fight itself was caused simply by a couple of people from one family casually insulting a few people from another family. They did not even ever say anything offensive, they just made a rude gesture. This is significant because a massive amount of fighting ensued over a very small and trifle event. Shakespeare intentionally made a huge fight out of a small issue to set up the mood of the quarrel between the Capulets and Montagues. He is using this fight to expose and symbolise how the fighting does not really have a purpose. No one ever said anything offensive. Moreover, the offensive gesture that one person did make does not even begin to remotely compare to the giant amount of fighting that ensued as a result of it. I predict that throughout the rest of the play, the fighting will be similar to the way that it was in this scene. I think that it will be just as ruthless and additionally, it will have the same low level of provocation needed. Overall, Shakespeare is using this outbreak of fighting as a way of setting the scene for the rest of the play.

  11. Hannah Pitkofsky

    The beginning of the play of Romeo and Juliet shows a fight between the two families, Capulet (Juliet) and Montague (Romeo). The first characters that we meet are Sampson and Gregory, two members of the Capulet family in the streets of Verona. We then see the feud between the houses when Abraham, a member of the Montague family, begins to insult Sampson and Gregory, causing a fight in the streets of the town. The fight begins to get out of hand, causing the leaders of the two families to come and assist their members. This shows how at war they are because it all started with a few insults, leading into a fight that caused the Prince of Verona to come and end the fighting. This struck me as an interesting scene because it shows lots of background of the feud and how quickly a fight can emerge out of nothing.

    In the movie versions, they both had the original Shakespeare writing, however, the locations and the portrayal of the characters were quite different. One film was set in Verona and had the characters portrayed similarly to Shakespeare writing. The other movie was set in Miami, and the fight was shown with guns instead of swords, and the members of the two families were shown as “bad boys” driving around Miami. Even though the portrayals have their differences, they both show the work of Shakespeare in interesting ways that honor the marvelous work that we know today as Romeo and Juliet.

  12. Hannah M.

    In the reading tonight we meet specifically the Montagues and the Capulets. The two famalies that have deep hatred for one another. In Act I scene i we learn that the families get triggered over little things such as biting your thumb towards someone, which is known as a sign for disrespect. The fight began in the streets of Verona when a two men from the capulet family bit their thumb at two men from the montague family. This enraged the man from the Montague family(Abram) and they both bickered a while more and then drew their swords. As swords began to clash the whole family, both to the Capulets and Montagues joined and chaos broke out among the streets. As women shouted, crops from the markets flew everywhere and people were being injured and even killed. A little later Prince Escalus comes and breaks up the fight. He is disgusted by both families behavior. He states that if this behavior and fighting keeps up they will be put to death. After the Prince said that people scattered back to their homes some in anger, some in shock and some in…fear.

  13. trinityt

    In the first scene of Act 1 of Romeo and Juliet, two men, Sampson and Gregory, from the Capulet started a fight with two Montague men, Abram and Benvolio. It started by the two Capulet men saying bad things behind the Montague men’s backs. It then escalated to Sampson biting his thumb at Abram, which was an extremely rude gesture. “No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I bite my thumb, sir.” Thanks to this action, a fight started between the Capulet and the Montague. The fight started out with only a few people, but then many people joined. This shows that the grudge between the two families must have been more than a few insulting words, and this isn’t the first time a fight like this happened. The prince then came in and stopped the fight along with a warning to both families that if a fight like this were to happen again, then the severe consequence will be their lives. I predict that we will learn more about the two families’ backgrounds and what happened to cause such a grudge between them.
    Seeing the clips from the movies in class was different from reading the play because the movies allowed me to see what was going on and understand the scene better. Reading the play was different from the movies because it took me a few seconds to completely grasp what was going on because of the language/words that was used, however, I was able to have a deeper insight of what the characters are like.
    I’m quite excited to see what will happen next.

  14. johnh1

    The fight begins when Sampson of the house of Capulet bites his thumb to try to insult some Montagues. As the Montagues get angry a fight happens. During the fight the Prince shows up and tells about how they have done this three times before and how he will kill them if they do it again. I think that this shows something about the houses feud. If Sampson was deliberately trying to annoy the other group and something like this has happened three times before it will probably happen again. The houses want to hurt the each other. Because of this I think that some violence might come out of Romeo and Juliet’s relationship later on because that would cause tension between people in the houses. Perhaps like someone attacking Romeo over him being with Juliet even though he is a Montague. I think the exposition that the riots are repeated events is important to possible later events.

  15. Brishti

    The opening of the play starts off with a large fight between the Montagues and the Capulets. Sampson and Gregory, two members of the Capulet family, begin by trying to think of a way to start a fight with the Montagues, and Sampson bites his thumb at Abraham, a Montague. Eventually, they start fighting, and more people join into the fighting happening on the streets of Verona. We meet two other characters during the fight, Benvolio, a Montague who plays the peacekeeper, and Tybalt, a vicious Capulet who looks for fights. Soon, the Prince of Verona comes and breaks up the fight, and even threatening death sentences if they don’t comply. Something that is interesting is how most people do not know what triggered the fighting, and don’t bother to ask. Moreover, they all get mad about small things. This shows how most of the Montagues and Capulets don’t know where this “ancient grudge” originated, they were just conditioned into believing that they have to hate the other family without any good reason. It can also be concluded that the parents of each generation raised them into believing that the other family is their enemy. This part sets the mood for the rest of the play, because we can now see how serious this feud is; even the smallest things can tick the other side off. Something serious, like Romeo and Juliet’s relationship, will most likely extremely infuriate the families. Reading the play was different from watching the movie because you can clearly see the reactions, the impact, and the consequences of the fight. In the movie, you can see a mother carrying her child away or a building catching fire rather than an obscure “they fight”. Seeing the movie helped me understand how serious this feud is, and that it has major consequences for the people around them.

  16. Mikayla Friedman

    The fight that breaks out between the Montague and Capulet servants is started very easily by two Capulet men named Samson and Gregory, and a Montague man named Abram. I noticed that the two Capulet men had no reason to start the fight other than the fact that old Montague and Capulet hated each other. In fact, Gregory decided beforehand that he would start up with Abram by biting his thumb at him, which is a gesture of defiance. The fight progresses when civilians join in, but then Prince Escalus arrives and puts an end to the fight. He says if they ever disturb the peace of the neighborhood again, they will have a penalty to pay. This short fight shows us how big the conflict is between the two families. It is so great that their servants are willing to fight each other for no other reason than to fight. This makes me wonder where the conflict between Montague and Capulet originates. I predict that because they are both so powerful, they fear the other family taking their power away. In other words, in addition to hating one another, they are also wary of each other.

    Seeing the clips of the movie really helped me to understand what I was reading. This is because before I even read the four pages, I had an idea of what was going to happen, so I wasn’t completely lost when I did read it. I also liked seeing the two different versions. They are two completely different takes on the original plays, but I think that seeing the scene twice reinforced the plot even more.

  17. caseyz

    The fight in this scene starts when two Capulet men begin to taunt a Montague man. They start to bite their thumbs at him and eventually a fight breaks out. Soon, everyone in the town is fighting with them until the fight is broken up by Prince Escalus. One thing that I noticed about this scene was that everyone in the town was so quick to join in the fight, even if they didn’t know why it had originally started. It makes me think that everyone in the town has picked a side. They’re either a Capulet or a Montague. This relates back to the “ancient grudge” in the prologue. It seems as if everyone has forgotten why there is bad blood between the two families, yet still chooses to join in with the fights and pick sides.

  18. Madi R.

    The beginning of scene i in “Romeo and Juliet” established the setting for the play. Shakespeare introduces the feud between the Montague family and the Capulet family. Almost immediately, a fight breaks out between the Montagues and the Capulets. The fight started without good reason. In the first four pages the idea of hate that was discussed in the prologue repeats. The hatred relates to the idea of the distinction between the two families without both of these families there would be no hatred. Shakespeare’s descriptions establishe the setting and the reader realizes that the fights and the hatred will continue and occur often. I predict that this hatred between the two families will be a common reoccurrence.

    1. Emma Garbowitz

      I agree that hatred was introduced almost immediately after the play begin! You make a great point but you never actually establish the what the setting is.

  19. Sophie

    I really liked watching the movie before actually reading the text. It helped me develop a vision and understanding about the characters before even analyzing the plot. One thing that I noticed about both movies is they they made the fight between Montague and Capulet much more lengthy and violent compared to the book. The book briefly explains who is fighting against who, gives a visual of a couple of weapons. But the movie portrayed a full on street market battle. There were stabbing sword attacks, cabbages being thrown, people yelling, bells ringing, and even an innocent mother trying to protect her baby. I think that Shakespeare didn’t include any violent details because his plays were much more about the verbal communication between the characters rather than big, long productions. Since he was incredibly talented in grammar and writing, I think he wrote his plays to fit what he did best, which was obviously creating text that sent powerful messages/stories. Maybe fighting and battles weren’t his strong suit, so he chose to go more in depth in other areas of of the play than the battle, such as Romeo and Juliet’s conversations with each other.

  20. angelicac1

    In Act I, scene i, of Romeo and Juliet, a fight broke out between the Montagues and the Capulets. The fight begun when Gregory and Sampson, two servingmen of Capulet, laid out a plan on the street to start a fight for no good reason. It was as if they just wanted to prove their power. The fight develops as more characters such as Abram, a Montague servingman, add more fuel to the fight. The fight ended when Prince Escalus came and threatened both families to conclude their violence. After reading lines 1-105, I came up with the idea that maybe random arguments between both families would just continue to occur throughout the book.
    After watching the scene from the movie version, I was able to understand the gist of the text because having a visual of the scene was helpful. I still flipped back and forth to view the characters list and the verso while I read the lines in order to gain a deeper understanding and although it took a while, it helped a lot.

    Although the verso in the novel helped a lot, actually, with the tough vocabulary, seeing a visual of the scene with language easier to understand was a huge help. It made me able to connect the scene I saw with the scene I was reading in the book.
    The character list in the beginning of the novel was a great help, too, so I knew whose family every character was a part of. The novel wasn’t too bad so far, just looking back and forth between the story and the verso took some time.

      1. Zoe

        I agree that more arguments will continue to happen throughout the book, but not too many since the prince gave them a very strict warning. Great analysis!

  21. Zoe

    I think the most important part of Act I, scene i is the motivation the two families used to start their long fight. The whole reason it seemed for the two men to “bite their thumb” at the others was because of their old grudge and the fact that they were different families. In the movie, the director then added that each family had the rest of their members automatically join in without asking what the problem was. Even when someone tried to stop the nonsense, another family member told them to continue to bring out their swords and fight. Besides the motives of the fight, another important event in this scene is the end of the fight when the prince tells the families it cannot happen again. I believe this will become important further into the play since the families will want to get into a fight again and something bad will happen. So far, the play is a little difficult to understand, but once I got past the fight it was hard to put the book down.

  22. stephaniec

    In Act 1, scene i a fight broke out between the Capulets and the Montagues. The fight started when Gregory and Sampson, two Capulets, purposely angered the Montagues for no justified reason. As the brawl broke out between the two families, the prince had to break it about by exclaiming that this can never happen again or else their will consequences.

    I think what’s most important about this, is how easy it was for the Capulets to anger the Montagues. It proves that both of the families or very irritable. I think this will prove to be true throughout the rest of the play, and eventually lead to the two families downfall.


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