Romeo Killing Tybalt Essay

Tybalt Capulet

Character Analysis

Tybalt is Juliet's cousin, i.e. a Capulet. After he kills Romeo's BFF, Mercutio, in a street brawl, Romeo mortally stabs him, which causes Romeo to be banished from Verona.

You don't have to look far for Tybalt's motivation: testosterone. He's not deep, but he sure is handy with a sword. Mercutio, who hates Tybalt, gives him the "catty" nickname the "Prince of Cats," and it totally fits. While Romeo can sometimes remind you of a bouncy and overeager puppy, Tybalt tends to stalk around proudly attacking anyone who strokes his fur wrong. We get just a hint of that when his uncle Capulet prevents him from beating up Romeo for crashing the Capulet's masked ball, and he promises to bash in Romeo's skull at a later date: "I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall, / Now seeming sweet, convert to bitt'rest gall" (1.5.102-103).

Notice that Tybalt likes to speak in rhymed couplets ("shall" and "gall" rhyme here), which could sound kind of ridiculous—but here just sound menacing. Aside from the vendetta between the Capulets and Montagues, there's no real explanation for Tybalt's aggressive behavior. It seems possible that he's eager to fight because he wants to defend his reputation as the toughest of the Capulets. It's also likely that Tybalt just likes to fight, which brings us to our next point: If there's a personification of hate in the play, it's Tybalt.

Think, for example, of the fact that while super macho Tybalt is storming around the Capulet ball threatening to beat Romeo to a pulp (just for being a Montague), Romeo and Juliet are a few feet away being all sappy sweet and professing their love for each other (1.5). Looks like "hate" and "love" may not be so different from each other after all.

Tybalt's Timeline

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Romeo And Juliet Essay




In Act three, Scene one of “Romeo and Juliet”, the scene in which Mercutio and Tybalt are killed takes place. Shakespeare portrayal of Romeo’s progression in this play is a dynamic character that experiences conflicting emotions and changes throughout his experiences. At first he feels caring and loving towards Tybalt who is now his relative, but after certain events leading up to the death of his close friend Mercutio, he disregards his tolerance towards Tybalt for the retribution of a friend. Due to the fortuitous events that take place, Romeo’s demeanour from the beginning to the end of the scene changes significantly.

As the stage commences, Romeo’s approach to Tybalt is much more considerate, but only for the fact that he is now related to Tybalt does he act this way. Tybalt, unaware of this, insults Romeo, calling him “a villain” (3.1.58), but Romeo refuses to respond to this rudeness because “the reason that [he] has to love [Tybalt does] excuse the appertaining rage” (3.1.59-60). Although Romeo walks away, Tybalt presses the fact that Romeo must duel him as he believes that Romeo has inflicted insult on him, but Romeo “protests [that he] never [has insulted Tybalt] but love [him] better than [he can] devise” (3.1.65-66). Romeo even goes so far as to saying that “Capulet [is a name] which he tenders as dearly as [his] own” (3.1.68-69). Instead of being irascible by Tybalt, Romeo acts very placidly in his circumstance and tries to explain that his love prevents him from resorting to violence.

When the conflict between Mercutio and Tybalt begins to culminate, Romeo attempts to put an end to it. As Tybalt is drawing his sword to engage Mercutio, Romeo tells “Mercutio [to] put [his sword down]” (3.1.80), but it is futile and they continue to battle. Romeo tries, in vain, to intervene once again, and he argues that “the prince [has] expressly forbid [fighting] in Verona streets” (3.1.84-85). This, however, does not affect the two, so Romeo steps between the two in order to stop the fighting, but he does not realize that Tybalt has stabbed Mercutio. Mercutio makes his wound seem insignificant, and no one believes that he has been mortally wounded until it is too late, and Mercutio becomes deceased. Even though Romeo is a Montague, he refrains from involving himself in the violence taking place and tries to become a peace-maker between the foes.

Romeo’s emotions suddenly change at the end of the clash between Mercutio and Tybalt when he learns Tybalt had taken Mercutio’s life. Romeo is enraged to learn that Mercutio is killed and knows that the outcome of what is going to occur will be decided in the days to come. Furthermore, he sets his mind on revenge, not the consequences of his actions. As Tybalt haughtily returns, Romeo is increasingly infuriated and overcome by these feelings, so he “[forgets] respective lenity” (3.1.119), and aims his sights on vengeance for the death of Mercutio. He is so enveloped in this idea that he does not comprehend the magnitude of what he is about to do, but he warns that “either [he] or [Tybalt] or both must go with [Mercutio] (3.1.125). This foreshadows the death, Tybalt’s death, which will be at the hands of Romeo. Mercutio’s death is the catalyst that pushes Romeo to undergo this change and ultimately take Tybalt’s life.

In conclusion, as a result of the uncontrollable events that take place, Romeo undergoes a development in character contradictory to that of his personality at the beginning of the scene. When Tybalt kills Mercutio, it causes Romeo to escalate to a point where he is capable of and does kill Tybalt in return for killing Mercutio. However, he does feel remorse for what he has done because he believes “[he is] fortune’s fool” (3.1.138) for being tricked by fate into making a decision that he thought was right, but in reality it was an error in judgment. The outcome of these actions not only causes pointless bloodshed in the eyes of others, it also allows Prince Escales to banish Romeo from Verona in order to stop the recurring tragedies induced by the Capulet and Montague households from recurring.


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