Internet Shakespeare Editions


Feasts, revels, and masques

The feast at the Capulets', which Romeo and his friends gatecrash as masquers, is usually staged as a sumptuous spectacle of music, costume and dance. In this way modern productions are appropriately following the tradition of early Court masques.

The irascible Tybalt wants to interrupt the celebration by challenging Romeo, but Old Capulet is more concerned to keep the feast as a celebration of order and generosity (see 1.5.63-90). Like the Court Fool, Masquers had licence to engage in activities not normally permitted.