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In Scene 1 of Act I, Romeo's friend, Benvolio, a mild and peace-loving young man, perceives quickly that the servants of the two households are fighting; he rushes in, knocking down their swords and urging the men, "Put up your swords; you know not what you do" (1.1.60). Benevolio is cautious because he is aware of the threat made by the Prince to execute anyone who is caught breaking the peace of Verona. Again when the fiery Tybalt threatens him, Benvolio remains sanguine and reasonable,
I do but keep the peace. Put up thy sword,
Or manage it to part these men with me.(1.1.63-64)
as he encourages Tybalt to be peaceful and even assist him in maintaining this peace. However, when Tybalt draws his sword, Benvolio is not afraid to defend himself. And, when Lord and Lady Montague appear and ask what has transpired, Benvolio is objective in his relating of the details of the incident. Then, when Lady Montague asks Benvolio if he has seen their son, Romeo, he replies that he has been worried--"a troubled mind drave me to walk abroad"(1.1.116)--and has sought Romeo. When Romeo does appear, Benvolio is very reasonable with the emotional friend who tells him in so many words that "Romeo is lost." So, Benvolio tries to reason with his friend; finally, he tells Romeo that he will get him to forget Rosalind, or he, Benvolio, will die trying:"I'll pay that doctrine, or else die in debt" (1.1.241). Clearly,throughout this scene and others in which he appears, Benvolio exhibits great loyalty to Romeo and much common sense.
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