Montagues and Capulets appear in the famous love tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. The feud between the houses of Montagues and Capulets forms the basis of Shakespeare’s play. How this feud of families leads to the catastrophe of the titular characters, Romeo Montague & Juliet Capulet is the main dramatic tension of the play.
Here at NoSweatShakespeare, you can find all about Romeo & Juliet, including the Montagues and Capulets. Without further, let’s dive into the details of the houses.
Who are the Montagues and Capulets?
Montagues and Capulets are two feuding houses of the play, Romeo & Juliet, by William Shakespeare. Shakespeare took this story from the verse named The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke. It was published in 1562. The famous tale of Romeo & Juliet originated from a real political faction of 13th century Italy. Then, the families of Montagues (in Italian, “Montecchi”) and Capulets (in Italian, “Capuleti”), two reputed houses of Italy, were fighting over political supremacy. Both of the houses wanted to assert their power over the other. They tried to get the attention of the king of Italy. Whoever got the upper hand, naturally had greater social esteem and facilities.
Shakespeare in his tragedy Romeo & Juliet adapted the story of Montagues and Capulets of Italy. He specifically focused on the tragic destiny of Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet due to the continuing agitation between the families.
Here is a brief overview of all the characters belonging to the House of Montague and House of Capulet.
Montagues: Character List
Here is the list of all the characters from the House of Montague in Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet.
- Lord Montague: He is the patriarch of the House of Montague and Romeo’s father.
- Lady Montague: She is the matriarch of the House of Montague and Romeo’s mother.
- Romeo Montague: Romeo is the titular character of the tragedy and the protagonist.
- Benvolio: He is Lord Montague’s nephew and Romeo’s cousin.
- Balthasar: He is Romeo’s manservant and trusted friend.
- Abram: He is another servant of the Montague house.
Capulets: Character List
Here is the list of all the characters from the House of Capulet in Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare.
- Lord Capulet: He is the patriarch of the House of Capulet and Juliet’s father.
- Lady Capulet: She is the wife of Lord Capulet and Juliet’s mother.
- Juliet Capulet: Juliet is the titular character of the tragedy and the female protagonist of the play.
- Tybalt: He is the son of Lady Capulet’s brother.
- Nurse: She is a maidservant to Juliet.
- Peter: He is the personal servant of the nurse.
- Gregory and Sampson: They are also the servants in the House of Capulet.
- Anthony, Potpan, and others: They are also the servants in Juliet’s family.
- Servant to Lord Capulet: He serves Lord Capulet’s personal orders.
- Old Capulet: He is Lord Capulet’s cousin.
It is all about the preliminary details of the characters in the play. Now, let’s know about the major differences between the Montagues and Capulets.
Montague Vs Capulet
Montagues and Capulets reflect different moral and external traits in the dramatic representation of Shakespeare. The way they talk and treat others, their choices, and their way of living, present the underlying gap between the families. Let’s have a look at the major differences between the houses of Montague and Capulet.
Way of Living
Capulets had everything in excess. They believed mostly in showcasing their wealth and power. Whereas, Montagues were comparably humble and reserved. Their way of living reflects a sense of completeness and simplicity. In Capulets’ case, it is the opposite.
Lord Capulet makes an aggressive kind of a father who denies all the happiness to her daughter, Juliet. He simply tries to rob her personal freedom. In the Montague family, Lord Montague and Lady Montague both treat their son as a human being, not as their property. Their endless love for their son never ceases until the end of the play.
Materialism and wealth play a pivotal role in the play. As in the cases of two wealthy families, it should be there no doubt. But the treatment of the theme by Shakespeare is innovative. The Capulets are extremely materialistic. They even treat their daughters as part of their property. Lord Montague is also wealthy but he never shows anything in excess. He knows he has something to count for in hard times. Bragging is not the nature of the House of Montague.
The Capulet family is socially more developed than the Montague family. They give more attention to their family life ironically and it ultimately destroys something serene called mental peace. That’s why Juliet suffers from a mental breakdown due to her father’s excessive control over her and her family. The Montagues as portrayed in the play, “better” than every aspect of the Capulets. They try to live a peaceful life and focus more on mental well-being.
Participation in Feuds
The Capulets tend to indulge in occasional feuds to showcase their domination in society. Montagues don’t provoke any fights in the play. They avoid fighting over meager issues. In the play, Montagues dissuade the dueling parties from fighting. They promote an air of peace in the course of dramatic action in Romeo & Juliet.
The Feud between Montagues and Capulets
Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare begins with a fight scene between the servants of Montagues and Capulets. It depicts the tension between the families from the beginning of the play. The main feud of the families begins in the ball arranged by the Capulets. For Romeo’s sneaking into the Capulet ball, Tybalt gets angry and challenges him into a fight. In this way, the feud between families takes place in the drama. It leads to Romeo’s banishment from Verona.
Reconciliation of Montagues and Capulets
Montagues and Capulets in Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet get reconciled after the tragic death of Romeo and Juliet. In the climax of the play, both Romeo and Juliet kill themselves for their inability to sense the difference between “appearance and reality”. After that, the Montagues and Capulets meet at the tombs of Romeo and Juliet. After hearing the story from Friar Laurence, the two families understand their fault and agree to put an end to their feud. The death of their children acts as a catalyst in this case. The play ends with the famous quote said by Prince Escalus,
“For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”
In this way, the Montagues and Capulets get reconciled by the tragic death of Romeo and Juliet.
You can read about all Romeo & Juliet Quotes, Romeo & Juliet Monologues, and Romeo & Juliet Soliloquies here.
Frequently asked questions about “Montagues and Capulets”
Is Benvolio a Montague or a Capulet?
Benvolio is a Montague. In Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare, Lord Montague is his uncle. He is Romeo’s cousin and best friend.
Is Romeo a Montague or a Capulet?
Romeo belonged to the House of Montague. In Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare, Romeo Montague is the protagonist of the play as well as the tragic hero. His immortal love for Juliet is remembered until now.
Is Juliet a Montague or Capulet?
Juliet belongs to the House of Capulet. In Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare, Juliet Capulet is the female protagonist of the play. Lord Capulet’s excessive control over Juliet’s life, ultimately destroys her life at the end.
Was Romeo a Capulet or Montague?
Romeo was a Montague and Juliet was a Capulet in the play, Romeo & Juliet, by William Shakespeare.
Was Tybalt a Montague or Capulet?
Tybalt is a Capulet. In Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare, Tybalt is the cousin of Juliet Capulet. He is the son of Lady Capulet’s brother.
Is Mercutio Montague or Capulet?
Mercutio is neither a Montague nor a Capulet. He belongs to the ruling house of Verona. In Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare, he is the cousin of Prince Escalus. He is also a close friend of Romeo.
You can read more about Montagues and Capulets here.
This was very interesting and I would love to have a friendly argument with you.