Trace the sequence of events that begins with Tybalt's insult to Romeo and ends with Tybalt's death and Romeo's banishment.

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Act 3, Scene 1 of "Romeo and Juliet"  Mercutio and Benvolio are in a public place where Benvolio suggests that they "retire" since Capulets are around the area.  Mercutio teases Benvolio for his pretense of caution.

Ironically, however, after joking with Benvolio about quarreling--which he was not--Mercutio starts an argument with Tybalt by taunting him with puns on such words as "consort." Futilely, Benvolio urges Mercutio to withdraw. 

At this point Romeo enters and Tybalt calls him "my man," a term for a servant.  To this remark Mercutio takes offense at Romeo's being termed a servant: "But I'll be hanged, sir, if he wear your livery" (l 44).

Mercutio challenges Tybalt to fight Romeo.  Tybalt responds by calling Romeo a "villain," a person of low standing. Romeo, now related to Tybalt by marriage, tries calm the situation by telling Tybalt that he loves him a fact which reduces the anger he would otherwise feel.  But Tybalt interprets Romeo's words as mockery while Mercutio who thinks them "submission" draws his sword. They fight; Romeo tries to intervene, blocking Mercutio's vision and causing him a "grave" wound.

When Tybalt returns, the enraged and distraught Romeo kills him for having slain his friend.  Realizing what he has done, R. cries, "O, I am fortune's fool!" (l.119). Citizens witness this, and the Prince arrives; Benvolio explains, but Lady Capulet disputes his testimony. Then, the Prince banishes Romeo from Verona; if he returns he will be killed. 

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Romeo and Juliet

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