Romeo and Juliet -Scene I. 40-74 when Sampson and Gregory of the House of Caplet are walking down the street when they are insulted by Blathers and Abraham of the House of Montague after Blathers bites his thumb at them. This starts a fight that the Prince and the Lords of the Capsules and the Montague get involved in. No one is killed but the attitude towards each other is much worse than before. In Romeo and Gullet’s time, biting of the thumb is a gesture that could provoke violence. Today gesturing with the wrong finger could be enough to provoke violence among rivals.
The reason or the reaction between the two groups was a long standing feud. It’s never really clear why the two families are feuding whether it was over power or money. It was clear that they each distrusted each other and felt superior to each other. Each act of violence led to revenge. Much like Capsules and the Montague, the Melvin and the Marriott families of Halifax have been involved in a family feud for decades. As with the family feud in Romeo and Juliet, the reason why the Melvin and Marriott feud started is unclear, but drugs, money, power played a role. This has resulted in continuous violence since 1988.
Just like in the play, the families continue to hate each other. They commit violent acts and then try to get revenge any way they can. Once again the cycle of violence and revenge continues. Another violent scene in Romeo and Juliet is V. Iii 169 – 170. In this scene Juliet believes that Romeo has killed himself. So she takes Romeos dagger and stabs herself with it. Romeo then takes his own life because he thinks Juliet is dead. This was a violent act by two depressed teens that were in love and could not have each other. Teen suicide was tragic then and still is now.
Teens deal with losses and stress any different ways and teen suicide has more than doubled since 1961. Both Romeo and Juliet decided to resort to suicide because they both believed that they could not live without each other. The feud between their families contributed to their deaths but ultimately they felt hopeless. The reasons for revenge and violence are the same today as they were in Romeo and Gullet’s time. People commit violence because they feel superior or they distrust others. People commit violence when feel hopeless or when they don’t get what they want. The violence leads to revenge and then to violence.