How does characterization display hate and revenge in Romeo and Juliet?

Expert Answers
missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Characterization can occur in many ways. It can be what one character says about another, how the author describes a character, what a character says about themselves, or how they act.

I think the greatest example of hate and revenge is Tybalt's passionate hate for Romeo.

At the party in Act I, scene v, Tybalt pleads with Capulet several times to fight Romeo. This persistence demonstrates his unending desire for revenge. Capulet calls him a "saucy boy", he says Tybalt will make "a mutiny among my guests".

Later, Tybalt sends a letter to challenge Romeo to a duel.

When Romeo actually meets up with him, Romeo says this:

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.

Romeo knows Tybalt has hate for him. These are all different examples that show how Tybalt in particular is characterized as having a hateful and vengeful character.

user2788715 | Student

I don't understand

redscar | Student



Later on in the play, Romeo and his friends, Mercutio and Benvolio, hear about the ball that Capulet is holding. They decide that they want to go but will go in secret.Romeo is being quite tedious and is not in the mood to compete with Mercutio’s wild character but eventually he is persuaded to go.The main reason they decide to go in the first place is out of spite for the Capulets, however, at the ball, Romeo meets Juliet, the love of his life.Juliet has found the only person she loves from the only family she 
hates. The meeting was regretted but it was too late to turn back as they had already fallen in love. They both fear the consequences of their love, but without any thought of changing their minds that they really love each other. Juliet asks Romeo to deny being a Montague and give up his family name but if he does not want to then she says that she will. Her enemy is not Romeo himself, but his name.If he leaves his name then he will no longer be her enemy Her feelings for Romeo are so strong that she is willing to do anything to be with him. If it is her name that is coming between them, then she will give it up. When Romeo finally speaks, Juliet tells Romeo that if the ‘kinsmen’ find him, they will kill him.

Capulet and Montague make peace with each other after seeing that their children were so in love with each other that they sacrificed their lives for one another. The last line means that Romeo and Juliet’s deaths were because of the hate between the two families,but it is love that brings them together. Therefore, after analysing the love and hate sides of Romeo and Juliet,it is more about love than hate. This is due to the fact that 
throughout the play, love overcomes hate except for a few scenes.In addition, by the end of play, Romeo and Juliet are in love with each other so much that they kill themselves, and consequently the parents forget the hate that they possess for each other.

redscar | Student

Romeo and Juliet is a play about two young lovers, whose love was 
destined for destruction from the beginning because of the hatred 
between the two families, Montagues and Capulets. Therefore, the 
themes of love and hate are very important in the play as the plot is driven by these two themes. Shakespeare brings out the love between the two rivals through Romeo and Juliet and their relationships with the Friar and the Nurse.

“From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, 

Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.” (Prologue, 3-4) 

These two lines are about the feud between the families. It shows that it is a feud, which has been brewing for many years. By repeating the words civil, Shakespeare is stressing the fact that they are all civilians but the pride within each family has led them to violence and evil. 
The play then goes straight from the prologue into a brawl in the 
first scene between both houses. It begins with servants from the two houses but later Tybalt, the son of the Capulets, and Benvolio arrive.Tybalt, during the brawl, says to Benvolio about the idea of peace, 
“As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee.” (1.1.65)

These are powerful words as Tybalt is ranking Benvolio and all the Montagues at the same level as hell and is expressing extreme hatred. However, by the ending of this opening scene, the audience is introduced to Romeo, who almost represents the theme of love in the play. At this moment, Romeo is too 
busy pining over his love for Rosaline to notice the brawl and says, 

“Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still, 

Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will.” (1.1.165-166) 

Here, Romeo is thinking of love as Cupid, who though he is always blindfolded, still manages to make people fall in love. This is ironic 
because Romeo and Juliet would never have even considered each other because of the feud between them. However, they still fall in love, as when they first met they did not know that the other was their rival but Romeo is talking about Rosaline when he says these lines, who is Juliet’s cousin.

“Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love. 

Why the, o brawling love, o loving hate, 

O any thing of nothing first create!” (1.1.169) 

These lines almost sum up the play as Romeo is talking about his 
experience of love in the way that it can make him happy and sad at the same time. It is both love and hate. He is connecting his feelings to the remains of the brawl he can see in front of him. From this, he concludes that although their fight was partly because of the hate between the two families, it is more about the love within each family that caused them to fight against each other. Where he says, “O any thing of nothing first create” he is saying that the love/hate relationship can take many forms and can be created out of nothing,just as the brawl started because of the servants being arrogant and boisterous. It is a sad happiness and a serious foolishness, which can be seen as an oxymoron as though love is bound up in hate and Shakespeare uses them throughout the play to connect the two themes.However, the reasons for the brawl are more to do with love and therefore, love overcomes hate.