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Act 3 Scene 1 is the scene in which both Tybalt and Mercutio are killed. Tybalt comes onto the scene with his cronies, looking for a fight. It is a hot day, and he is still angry with Romeo for having crashed the Capulet ball. But Romeo, filled with love for Juliet, wants to make peace with Tybalt instead. Here is the exchange between these two:
Romeo, the hate I bear thee can afford
No better term than this,--thou art a villain.
Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee
Doth much excuse the appertaining rage
To such a greeting: villain am I none;
Therefore farewell; I see thou know'st me not.
Tybalt mocks Romeo and challenges him to draw. When Romeo persists that he has good reasons to love Tybalt and not to hate him, Mercutio can’t stand seeing his good friend acting in a way he thinks is dishonorable; that is, refusing to fight. Mercutio and Tybalt then fight, and Romeo tries to stop them. He goes between them to stop the fighting, but in so doing, he gives Tybalt the opportunity to get in the fatal thrust. Tybalt, having stabbed Mercutio, runs off.
As Mercutio is dying, he says:
Why the devil came you between us? I
was hurt under your arm.
At first Romeo and the others do not even realize Mercutio is dying; they think he is being his usual comic self, especially with puns like “Ask for me tomorrow and you will find me a grave man.” Romeo, grief-stricken yet impulsive over his dear friend’s death, claims he will avenge Mercutio’s death, and when Tybalt returns, the two fight, in this powerful scene:
This day's black fate on more days doth depend;
This but begins the woe, others must end.
Here comes the furious Tybalt back again.
Alive, in triumph! and Mercutio slain!
Away to heaven, respective lenity,
And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now!
Now, Tybalt, take the villain back again,
That late thou gavest me; for Mercutio's soul
Is but a little way above our heads,
Staying for thine to keep him company:
Either thou, or I, or both, must go with him.
Thou, wretched boy, that didst consort him here,
Shalt with him hence.
This shall determine that.
They fight; TYBALT falls
Because Romeo has killed Tybalt, the feud is intensified. Not only is there no hope of making peace between the two families with a wedding (as Romeo had hoped), Romeo is banished. Peace between the two families and blazing the news of a marriage (which is what Romeo had hoped Friar Lawrence would do) is now impossible and the separation of the two lovers appears inevitable until Friar Lawrence helps hatch yet another plot to marry the lovers in secret.
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