In Act 1, Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet, how does Tybalt react to Romeo's presence at the party and what does Lord Capulet say about Romeo?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act I, Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet, Tybalt is enraged by Romeo's presence at the party at which Romeo falls in love at first sight with Juliet. Tybalt says:

"What dares the slave/Come hither, cover’d with an antic face,/
To fleer and scorn at our solemnity?/Now, by the stock and honour of my kin,/To strike him dead, I hold it not a sin."

Tybalt is quick to be angry and assumes that Romeo has come out of spite, to "scorn" the Capulets, while Romeo has not come for that reason at all, but out of motives of love. Tybalt also expresses his willingness to kill Romeo, which he does not regard as a crime, to protect the honor of the Capulets.

In contrast to Tybalt, Lord Capulet assumes that Romeo has good motives. Capulet says:

"And, to say truth, Verona brags of him/To be a virtuous and well-govern’d youth:/I would not for the wealth of all the town/Here in my house do him disparagement:/ Therefore be patient, take no note of him."

Capulet senses that Romeo is a well-intentioned person and asks Tybalt to ignore Romeo's presence at the party. Instead, Tybalt answers with anger that he will not patiently tolerate Romeo's presence at the Capulets' party. When Lord Capulet insists that he do so, Tybalt answers: "this intrusion shall/Now seeming sweet convert to bitter gall." Tybalt means that he will store this situation away in his memory as gall, or anger. This scene foreshadows the bitter fight between Romeo and Tybalt that will ensue later in the play. 


Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Tybalt, standing true to his character, reacts very violently to the knowledge of Romeo's presence while Lord Capulet actually defends Romeo (simply because Capulet doesn't want his party disrupted).  Tybalt's violence can be seen almost immediately in that he asks for his rapier and says, "Now, by the stock and honor of my kin, / To strike him dead I hold it not a sin."  Lord Capulet approaches the subject delicately with Tybalt by simply telling Tybalt to "let him alone."  Ironically, Lord Capulet then begins defending Romeo by saying, "Verona brags of him / To be a virtuous and well-governed youth.  I would not for the wealth of all this town / Here in my house do him disparagement."  Lord Capulet tries again to stop Tybalt peacefully by saying, "Therefore be patient, take no note of him."  Of course, Lord Capulet has to descend into violence himself (with his own kinsman) mostly as a result of Tybalt not respecting his will.  "He shall be endured. . . . Am I the master here, or you? Go to! . . . You'll make a mutiny among my guests!"  In this way, Romeo is left alone to ogle over Juliet at the party.

seaofknowledge eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Tybalt is terribly angered by Romeo's presence. Tybalt calls Romeo the enemy and is so angered that he wishes to kill him, adding that he would not feel remorse if he did.

Lord Capulet does not agree with Tybalt. Lord Capulet thinks of Romeo as a gentleman, someone who is virtuous and respectable. He will not allow Romeo to be disrespected in his house and tells Tybalt to ignore Romeo and calm down and improve his mood.

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Romeo and Juliet

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