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

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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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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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