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appletrees eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Tybalt was Juliet's older cousin and as such a saw himself as her protector and laid claim to interfering in her personal relationships. He despises Romeo because of the ongoing feud between the houses of Capulet and Montague, but also because he knows Romeo has recently had a Lover (Rosaline) before becoming infatuated with Juliet. Tybalt challenges Romeo to a duel, but omen refuses because he has secretly married Juliet and is now related to Tybalt. But when Mercutio, Romeo's friend, engages in combat with Tybalt, he is killed, and Romeo flies into a rage and kills Tybalt. This results in Romeo's banishment, although if not for Benvolio's interference, Romeo might have been put to death for this offense.

Tybalt's name is similar to the world "tumult" suggesting he may be a cause of conflict; likewise Benvolio's name means literally "do-gooer" or peacemaker. These two characters represent the continuum of the conflict surrounding this age-old feud. Tybalt is opposed to anyone from the House of Montague simply on principle, and the idea of one of them marrying his cousin is unacceptable and infuriating. Conversely, Benvolio believes people should be judged on their own merits and encourages the enemies to resolve their differences and try to co-exist.

atsnider | Student

Benvolio represented peace because he was often looking to stop the fighting and gain peace between the families while Tybalt(prince of cats) was the aggressor and hated peace almost as much as he hated the montegues he instigated most of the fights and was always aggressive in his waus of protecting the capulet name