A guest post by Nate Chen, who plays Lord Capulet (Juliet’s father)
Nate first offers some background to the social and political setting of the play:
Shortly before 1000 AD an odd phenomenon started taking place in Italy. People started to immigrate into Italian cities in large numbers. Now in most feudal societies of the era that kind of mass immigration was impossible – you swore your allegiance to a feudal landlord quite early, and paid rent on the land you worked for the rest of your life when you weren’t serving as a foot soldier in your liege’s army. But in Italy, city denizens – or citizens for short – were freed of their allegiance by virtue of living behind really thick walls and the assurances of the city government. This, along with a handful of other guarantees, was one of the first instances of people having rights backed by government.
For most people, the principle of being free of a renter’s life wouldn’t be enough to convince them to uproot from the familiar and go somewhere else.