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Who do you think is the bigger villian, Mercutio or Tybalt?Who's the bigger villian,...

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dela474 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 2, 2008 at 4:56 PM via web

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Who do you think is the bigger villian, Mercutio or Tybalt?

Who's the bigger villian, Mercutio or Tybalt?

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Susan Woodward | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted March 2, 2008 at 6:10 PM (Answer #2)

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I believe that Mercutio is the bigger instigator.  Mercutio was already geared up for a fight in Act III scene i when Tybalt arrived looking for Romeo.  Tybalt's fight wasn't with Mercutio, but Mercutio picked one with him.  As eager as Tybalt was to defend his family's honor for the "insult" of crashing the Capulet party, he wasn't looking to fight with anyone but Romeo.  Mercutio (like the element, Mercury, he is named for) has a low boiling point and is willing to fight just for the sake of fighting.  If he hadn't egged Tybalt on, then they would not have started brawling in the street.  Even though Tybalt took a dirty shot by stabbing Mercutio under Romeo's arm, they would not have been fighting at all if Mercutio hadn't jumped in to be Romeo's second when Romeo refused Tybalt's challenge.  Even though Benvolio knows for a fact that Mercutio started the fight, he lies and says that it was Tybalt who began it in order to save Romeo's neck. If the truth came out, it would have been known that Tybalt fought in self defense.

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allyson | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted March 3, 2008 at 4:27 AM (Answer #3)

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It is also important to note that had Lord Capulet allowed Tybalt to fight at the party, Tybalt would have started in on Romeo and Mercutio much earlier. He says, "It fits, when such a villain is a guest:/ I'll not endure him." At that point, Romeo was not married to Juliet and probably would have fought back with Mercutio, since they are known for fighting (we already know that there had been three fights between the two families in the streets).

It is hard to call Mercutio a villain because he provides entertainment in the play, but it is true that he instigated the final fight with Tybalt after Romeo refused to fight.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 3, 2008 at 1:09 PM (Answer #4)

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I lean toward Mercutio.  He is friends with Romeo, but other than that, he has no ties to the families or their quarrel.  He likes to stir up the dunghill, and therefore gets my vote for biggest villain even though he is quite entertaining.  Had he Queen Mab'bed some other place, he and Tybalt would still be alive and the play might have had a happier ending.  Therein lies the rub!

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gedaly | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 8, 2008 at 3:57 PM (Answer #5)

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Mercutio may be a trouble maker, but he's definitely not a villain. I found villain defined as "A wicked or evil person; a scoundrel. OR A dramatic or fictional character who is typically at odds with the hero."

Tybalt completely fits the second definition. He is at odds with Romeo. Tybalt is the most aggressive Capulet against anyone in the Montague family. Mercutio is a jester type character. He likes picking fights but only so he can show off. He likes to make fun of Tybalt and see him get angry. His whole objective is entertainment.

It could also be argued that Mercutio is in fact protecting Romeo. Tybalt is trying to fight Romeo but Romeo refuses which only further infuriates Tybalt. Mercutio perhaps provokes Tybalt to divert attention from Romeo, who could get hurt if he refuses to pick up a sword to defend against the one Tybalt has been pointing at him.

Mercutio is no villain, but he sure knows how to make people angry.

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stagemanager007 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 27, 2008 at 5:14 PM (Answer #6)

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Mercutio may be a trouble maker, but he's definitely not a villain. I found villain defined as "A wicked or evil person; a scoundrel. OR A dramatic or fictional character who is typically at odds with the hero."

Tybalt completely fits the second definition. He is at odds with Romeo. Tybalt is the most aggressive Capulet against anyone in the Montague family. Mercutio is a jester type character. He likes picking fights but only so he can show off. He likes to make fun of Tybalt and see him get angry. His whole objective is entertainment.

It could also be argued that Mercutio is in fact protecting Romeo. Tybalt is trying to fight Romeo but Romeo refuses which only further infuriates Tybalt. Mercutio perhaps provokes Tybalt to divert attention from Romeo, who could get hurt if he refuses to pick up a sword to defend against the one Tybalt has been pointing at him.

Mercutio is no villain, but he sure knows how to make people angry.

I completely agree with this...and not only because Mercutio is one of my favorite of Shakespeare's Characters. I do not believe that Mercutio is a villain, though he is a trouble maker as you stated.

 

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