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Why does Lady Capulet think that Benvolio is lying to the prince when he tries to...

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nemo1214 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 22, 2010 at 6:38 AM via web

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Why does Lady Capulet think that Benvolio is lying to the prince when he tries to explain the fight that happeneded between Romeo and Tybalt?

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keekeesmom24 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted April 23, 2010 at 4:13 AM (Answer #1)

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In Act 3, scene 1 of the play, Benvolio gives a fair account of the fight, as you may have determined from reading lines 149-172.  (It is important to note that while Shakespeare might have considered having the Prince choose a more obviously impartial character to tell the story than Benvolio, he most likely did not wish to introduce a new character at this point, one that would be delivering crucial lines).

Lady Capulet's reasons for distrusting Benvolio's words are twofold.  First, she assumes that Benvolio's kinship with Romeo will automatically bias him against the truth: "Affection makes him false, he speaks not true" (174).

Second, Lady Capulet did not witness the duel, and had no doubt heard there were many men fighting in the general ruckus.  She apparently believes that Tybalt might have been attacked not only by Romeo, but by his friends: "Some twenty of them fought in this black strife,/And all those twenty could but kill one life" (175-176).

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nemo1214 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 22, 2010 at 6:42 AM (Answer #2)

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Lady capulet thinks that Benvolio is lying to the prince because she thinks that since he is a Montague he is automatically lying and accuses that at least 20 men jumped (attacked) Tybalt.

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