How does each family react to the death of Tybalt? How does each family react to the death of Mercutio? 

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holfie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The death of Mercutio prompts two very different responses from the Montagues and the Capulets. Benvolio and Romeo, both Montagues and friends of Mercutio, are devastated over the loss and quickly vow revenge on Tybalt. Tybalt, on the other hand, is the only Capulet we hear of as having a reaction to his murder of Mercutio. Tybalt, who left the scene prior to Mercutio's death, is surprised by Mercutio's demise, as he had not intended to fatally wound him. He has little time to react, however, as Romeo soon kills Tybalt to exact revenge for the death of Mercutio.

The families' reactions to the death of Tybalt are even more divided. Lady Capulet laments the loss of her relative and implores the Prince to exact revenge on Romeo: "For blood of ours, shed blood of Montague" (line 113). Several lines later, Lady Capulet repeats her assertion, stating, "Romeo slew Tybalt. Romeo must not live" (line 143). Montague, on the other hand, states that Romeo was only seeking revenge for Mercutio's death and avenging his friend. Montague feels that no further action is necessary, as Tybalt's death "paid for" Mercutio's. In the end, the Prince opts to banish Romeo, promising to kill Romeo if he decides to return to Verona.

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Romeo and Juliet

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