The House of Montague in 'Romeo and Juliet'

silhouette of kissing romeo and juliet
DianaHirsch / Getty Images

The House of Montague in "Romeo and Juliet" is one of “fair Verona’s” two feuding families—the other being the House of Capulet. They can be seen as the less aggressive of the two clans, occasionally making efforts to maintain peace while the Capulets are more often instigators. Of course, when Montague’s son Romeo falls in love with the daughter of Capulet and they elope, it ignites equal anger for their respective families.

This guide provides commentary on all the main characters in the House of Montague.

Montague (Romeo's Father)

Montague is father to Romeo and the husband of Lady Montague. As head of the Montague clan, he is locked in a bitter and ongoing feud with the Capulets, though we never find out its cause. He is concerned that Romeo is melancholy at the beginning of the play.

Lady Montague (Romeo's Mother)

Lady Montague is mother to Romeo and married to Montague. She is not particularly involved with Romeo's life in the play, though she does die of grief when he is banished.

Romeo Montague

Romeo is the play's male protagonist. He is the son of Montague and Lady Montague, making him heir to the clan as well. He’s a handsome man of about 16 who is sensitive and passionate. He falls easily in and out of love, shown by the way his infatuation for Rosaline at the play's start quickly shifts to Juliet upon seeing her. Though often seen as a hopeless romantic, Romeo can also be criticized for his immaturity and impulsiveness.

Benvolio

Benvolio is Montague’s nephew and Romeo’s cousin. He is a loyal friend to Romeo and tries to counsel him about his love life—he attempts to distract Romeo from thinking about Rosaline. He also attempts to take on a peacemaker role by avoiding violent encounters and trying to defuse them. However, it is implied by Mercutio—Romeo's closest friend—that he does have a temper in private.

Balthasar

Balthasar is Romeo’s serving man. When Romeo is in exile, Balthasar brings him news from Verona. He unwittingly informs Romeo of Juliet’s death, unaware that she has taken a substance to only appear dead. This misinformation becomes the catalyst for Romeo's suicide.

Abram

Abram is Montague’s serving man. He fights Capulet’s serving men Samson and Gregory in Act One, Scene One, establishing the discord between the families.