updated 2 months ago

Where does Romeo and Juliet take place? What message does the geographical setting carry?

Geography isn’t my strong point at all. Could anyone help me figure out this?

1 Answer
updated 2 months ago

William Shakespeare set “Romeo and Juliet” primarily in two cities: Verona and Mantua. Most of the scenes are set in Verona, mainly because this is where the Capulets and the Montagues live. He expresses the location of the play in the prolog where he mentions the city of Verona as well as other details in the plot. Verona is a relatively small city where the feuds between the Capulets and the Montagues persisted for a long time, forming the primary theme of the literary work. Romeo, a Montague, and Juliet, a Capulet, lived in Verona, but after Romeo kills Tybalt in Act V, Scene 1 and he is consequently banished from Verona to exile in Mantua.

The Capulets and the Montagues were highly prominent families in Verona despite the fact that they were not rulers. The ruler of the city was Prince, who was already displeased with the feud between the two families. The setting of the play in such a small city in Italy allows for a realistic existence of two prominent families that seemed to exist above the law of the land. Moreover, the geographical setting of the play allowed for the governance of the city to allow for a ruler such as Prince to make and enforce decisions such as banishment.

Since the setting of the play was during the Renaissance period, the setting location in Verona was a perfect place to depict the hatred between the Capulets and the Montagues in exposing the dangers of violence and vengeance.