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Compare and contrast Benvolio with Tybalt.  What are the differences and similarities...

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henrywood1 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 12, 2009 at 9:05 AM via web

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Compare and contrast Benvolio with Tybalt. 

What are the differences and similarities among these two characters? 

I would appreciate it if you could give details and quotes. I don't need it in an essay format. 

Thank you.

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MaudlinStreet | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted August 8, 2010 at 4:07 PM (Answer #1)

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One obvious similarity is that both are cousins of the main characters: Tybalt is Juliet's, and Benvolio is Romeo's. In this way, they serve as close friends to both. Juliet is stricken at the news of Tybalt's death, and Romeo remains close to Benvolio throughout the play.

As far as differences, I agree with the above answer. Benvolio is traditionally seen as the peace-maker of the Montague family, while Tybalt is hot-headed and reckless. Benvolio continually seeks to end fights, such as in the first scene and Tybalt and Mercutio's fight in Act III, scene 1. Tybalt continually seeks to start fights, such as during the party scene. There, he is chastised by Lord Capulet, who essentially says his temper is getting the best of him. In Act III, scene 1, when Romeo refuses to fight him, Tybalt is more than happy to fight Mercutio, and presses to fight over perceived insults. He also prods even peaceful Benvolio into drawing his sword in the first scene.

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henrywood1 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 12, 2009 at 10:02 AM (Answer #2)

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MY answer is, Benvolio is more peaceful

Tybalt is furious.

The similar thing is they both serve their families, protect each other in some ways, Tybalt fights while Benvolio keeps peace.

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seaofknowledge | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted March 19, 2015 at 2:01 PM (Answer #3)

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Benvolio is Romeo's relative and friend. Tybalt is Juliet's cousin.

In temperament, these two characters are completely the opposite of one another. Benvolio is kind and calm whereas Tybalt is easily angered and aggressive.

Take these instances for example:

In Act 1, when Romeo makes an appearance at the party, Tybalt becomes so angry that he talks about killing Romeo. It's actually Juliet's father Lord Capulet who calms Tybalt down and speaks well of Romeo.

In Act 1 again, Benvolio and Tybalt have an encounter in which they make their personalities very clear to the reader. Benvolio is trying to put an end to a fight and urges the fighters to put their swords down and maintain peace. Tybalt counters him and even says that he hates the word "peace."

Sources:

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