Essay on Act 1 Scene 1 Romeo and Juliet.

5321 Words Oct 20th, 2008 22 Pages
Enter Sampson and Gregory:
Sampson and Gregory, servants of the house of Capulet, go out looking for trouble. Enter Abraham and Balthasar:
Sampson and Gregory almost pick a fight with Abraham and Balthasar, servants of the house of Montague. Enter Benvolio:Seeing a Capulet kinsman, Sampson and Gregory start to fight with Abraham and Balthasar. Benvolio tries to stop the fight, but Tybalt enters and attacks Benvolio. The citizens of Verona attack both the Capulets and Montagues. Capulet and Montague try to join the fight, but are restrained by their wives. Enter Prince Escalus with his Train:Prince Escalus stops the riot, threatens everyone with death, and takes Capulet with him. Exeunt all but Montague, Lady Montague, and
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Sampson's answer to this is "A dog of the house of Montague moves me" (1.1.7). This is a little puzzling, because he's speaking as though he has just seen a Montague, but the Montagues don't appear until a little later. Maybe he's drawing his sword and placing his buckler in front of him to show what he would do if a Montague did show up. Gregory then proceeds to prove that Sampson will run when he sees a Montague. Gregory's proof consists of definitions of words: "To move is to stir; and to be valiant is to stand [as in "to make a stand"]: therefore, if thou art moved, thou runn'st away" (1.1.7-8).
Sampson declares that he will stand up against any Montague, and adds, "I will take the wall of any man or maid of Montague's" (1.1.9-10). The side of the street next to the wall, the farthest away from the horse droppings and open sewers, was the favored place. Inferiors were supposed to yield the wall to superiors, and therefore to "take the wall" of someone was to show disrespect to that person. Gregory contradicts Sampson by using a proverb, "the weakest goes to the wall," which means that the weak must always yield to the strong. Therefore if Sampson takes the wall, says Gregory, "That shows thee a weak slave; for the weakest goes to the wall" (1.1.11-12). Gregory's joke only gives Sampson an opportunity to make even bigger boasts. He says, "True; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are