Tybalt In William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet

2457 words - 10 pages

Tybalt in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

In the play "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare, Tybalt,

the nephew of Capulet's wife (hence Juliet's cousin) is very

close to the Capulet family and will therefore do anything to

protect the family pride. Tybalt thinks that the Montagues are

the canker of Verona ; he deems their mere presence in Capulet

company to be a personal insult on the latter's family 'honour

and stock' (he paranoically assumes that Romeo's attendance of

the Capulet's masked ball is solely 'to fleer and scorn at our

solemnity'). Tybalt is the only young Capulet male that is

fully acknowledged by the audience through dialogue (Petruchio

says one line in Act 3, Scene 1 and is only mentioned once

before in Act 1, Scene 5). He is the main Capulet blood

relation that is actively involved in the family feud. He

represents the senseless feud as revived by the younger males

of the family and he is invariably the assaulter and aggressor.

His bigotry, false pride and irrationality personify the feud.

Tybalt first appears in Act 1, Scene 1, his first line, line

66. His entrance is marked by a fight, which tells the audience

that his "fiery" nature wreaks havoc and bitter conflict

wherever he goes. There is an argument between the servants,

which develops into a fight. When Benvolio says he has no need

to fight and wants to keep the peace, Tybalt responds: "What,

drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word as I hate Hell, all

Montagues and thee." Tybalt, the character, introduces himself

(and his explosive nature) to the audience with this line,

showing that he is a violent and aggressive man. Ironically, he

fears punishments for his sins in eternal suffering ('I hate

hell') and is a man without religion safe for his creed of

hate: he says in Act 1, Scene 5 (in relation to Romeo) "To

strike him dead I hold it not a sin."

We meet Tybalt again in Act 1, Scene 5, at the Capulet's masked

ball. Tybalt recognises Romeo as a Montague and his feelings of

hatred rekindle: "What dares the slave come hither?" (Act 1,

Scene 5, line 56). Tybalt thinks it an honourable, righteous

act to kill any Montague in order to protect the Capulet family

name. He takes Romeo's presence as open-faced effrontery and a

clear threat to the Capulet family. Lord Capulet orders him not

to start a scandal: "I would not for the wealth of all this

town here in my house do him disparagement." Even this train of

restraining and soothing comments do...

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