English I-H, Period 5
9 December 2013
Romeo and Juliet Mock Trial Essay
Of all the things that occur in Romeo and Juliet, the death of Tybalt is one of the most climatic parts of the story. Yet, this all started from another killing of a different person, Mercutio. Mercutio, a relative of the Prince and friend of Romeo, and Tybalt, nephew to Lady Capulet and Mercutio’s arch enemy, were in a heated conversion when Romeo walked in after getting married to Juliet and saw what was going on. Tybalt and Mercutio began to fight and Romeo tried to come in between them to stop the whole thing. Unfortunately, as Tybalt was under Romeo’s arms, he stabbed Mercutio and he died soon after. In all the rage, Romeo was furious that his friend was dead and starts to fight with Tybalt. Eventually, Romeo slays Tybalt and he falls to the floor and dies. Romeo runs away in agony before the Prince soon arrives at the scene of the fight with all the other citizens that were awakened by this fray to see what happened. Although Romeo is guilty of homicide, he is charged for manslaughter as he unlawfully killed a person in the heat of passion while defending Mercutio’s honor.
One big reason Romeo is charged for manslaughter is because he killed a person unlawfully. According to California Criminal Code 192, “Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice.” (Penal sec. 192) One example would be when Benvolio tells Romeo that “The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain. Stand not amazed; the Prince will doom thee death if thou art taken. Hence, be gone, away!” (3.1.132-134) Here in this quote, Benvolio tells Romeo to get away before the Prince catches him red-handed because he knows that Romeo had broken the law of fighting with someone and disturbing Verona streets. Because of this, Romeo will be punished and repay for what he had done. Another example shows when the Prince had said “And for that offence immediately we do exile him hence.” (3.1.185-186) The quote shows that it was an unlawful killing because the Prince had punished and banished Romeo for the vile thing that he had commenced that day. He didn’t follow the law of keeping Verona streets peaceful and quiet and had to pay the price of being banished from Verona. Others may argue that Romeo had the right to kill Tybalt because he was the one that killed Romeo’s good friend, Mercutio. That is erroneous because it is against the law to fight on Verona streets and uncivilized. This opposing argument also shows that two wrongs don’t make a right.
Romeo was also charged for manslaughter because he had fought in the heat of passion at the time. An example would be when Romeo shouted to Tybalt “Alive, in triumph! And Mercutio slain! Away to heaven, respective lenity, and fire-eyed fury be my conduct now! (3.1.121-123) Here in this quote, Romeo was most definitely in the heat of passion because of how he talked and sounded really mad. Romeo had also said for fire-eyed fury to...