What is a modern-day song that could represent Tybalt's personality?

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mercut1469 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Bullying is a frequent topic of modern American society, especially in schools and among young people. Some might argue bullying has even infiltrated the highest levels of discourse in America. Not surprisingly, bullying has often been a topic in literature and music. Stephen King's novel Carrie is the story of a girl who is bullied so much that she perpetrates unspeakable acts.

Shakespeare delved into bullying in his plays. His work is replete with bullies. Characters such as Richard III and the young Prince Hal are examples. In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare portrays Tybalt as highly arrogant and often displaying the attributes of a bully. Tybalt is perfectly ready to insult or kill his enemies for the smallest of slights. He seeks to kill Romeo at his uncle's party in Act I and is again out to bully Romeo into a fight in Act III, Scene 1 before he is challenged by Mercutio, another potential Shakespearean bully.

Several modern songs deal with bullies, but the best might be Taylor Swift's "Mean." While this song is about modern life, it seems to fit Tybalt. In the opening lyrics of the song, it even mentions how the bully in question strives to belittle his victims and uses words like swords, much as Tybalt attempts to do in the brawl portrayed in Act I, Scene 1 when he threatens Benvolio and later in Act III, Scene 1 when he attempts to goad Romeo into a fight by calling him a villain. The refrain in Swift's song claims this bully will always be nothing but mean and that seems to ring true with Tybalt. Tybalt is so much of a bully that he cannot leave well enough alone and returns to the street where he killed Mercutio instead of seeking asylum. In her song, Swift indicates the bully's victim will go on to live a better life. If not for the tragedy of circumstances in the final two acts of Romeo and Juliet, one might argue that Romeo would indeed go on and live a fulfilling life with his love Juliet.