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How does Shakespeare present the character of Tybalt in "Romeo and Juliet"? I...

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matiwos | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 4, 2007 at 8:35 PM via web

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How does Shakespeare present the character of Tybalt in "Romeo and Juliet"?

I just want to know how Tybalt is portrayed in the play Romeo and Juliet. The character of Tybalt is different in that he doesnt like peace. The the way he talks makes it seem as though he always wants to have trouble or fight. So I just want to know how Shakespeare presents him and what kind of person he is. and also the language he used.
thank you.

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chloemink | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted March 6, 2007 at 2:50 AM (Answer #1)

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He does not speak many lines. Throughout the play, he demonstrates his angry, resentful, and stubborn nature. When Tybalt first appears, Benvolio is attempting to stop the servants of the Capulet and Montague households from fighting. By contrast, Tybalt urges on the fight and succeeds in drawing Benvolio in to fighting with him. In addition to his being belligerent and stubborn, Tybalt also has no qualms about fighting unfairly.

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whitneysprouse | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted February 11, 2008 at 7:57 AM (Answer #3)

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Tybalt is a nephew to Lord Capulet and a cousin to Juliet. He does not speak many lines, but he influences the entire course of the play to a degree that exceeds his seemingly minor role in it. Throughout the play, he demonstrates his angry, resentful, and stubborn nature. When Tybalt first appears, Benvolio is attempting to stop the servants of the Capulet and Montague households from fighting. By contrast, Tybalt urges on the fight and succeeds in drawing Benvolio in to fighting with him. At the Capulet party, Tybalt recognizes Romeo's voice and within ten words is calling for his sword. Lord Capulet persuades him to hold off. Later he challenges Romeo to a duel in response to Romeo's attending a Capulet party. His challenge to Romeo is taken up by Mercitio, whom Tybalt kills. Romeo then kills Tybalt.

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mrerick | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted February 11, 2008 at 1:22 PM (Answer #4)

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Tybalt needed to act as a foil to all of the prudent and reasonable Capulets of the play.  He has no inclination for peace and spends much of his time baiting Montagues into battle which makes him a perfect match with the witty Mercutio.  What makes Tybalt so intriguing is his close relationship with Juliet.  Although they are cousins, it's important for us to understand that their relationship is much closer than what we consider "cousinly".  Juliet is devastated by the death of Tybalt, much like she would be if her brother had died.  It isn't until Juliet realizes that Tybalt would have killed Romeo that she begins to calm down about Tybalt's death.  The closeness of these two makes Tybalt actions and words seem even more savage when compared to the sweet and overly-loving nature of Juliet.  Shakespeare needed to show that this family rivalry continued to be strong in Verona, and it certainly wasn't people like Romeo or Juliet or Benvolio that made it stay strong.  It was the "loose cannon" characters like Tybalt that continued to fuel the fire.

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rose77sister | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 16, 2009 at 9:42 PM (Answer #5)

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Tybalt is seen as a very crude character. Throughout the scene he presents himself as a very stubborn character that definitely has deep beliefs about keeping the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues alive. He is also seen as an angry and resentful character which could prove to be a problem in the future as it shows that his motivation may be apprehensive and presentimental. This can be backed up by the fact that he says “this intrusion shall; now seeming sweet, convert to bitterest gall”.

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