What are some personality traits for Benvolio and Tybalt?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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As his name suggests, Benvolio is benevolent and good hearted. He is a sensible, well-balanced young man with good intentions. Romeo's father chooses to approach Benvolio out of all of Romeo's friends when he is worried about his son moping around. This show he trusts the young man's steadiness and good sense. It is Benvolio who encourages Romeo to go to the Capulet's masquerade party and look for another girlfriend, rather than moon over Rosaline. Benvolio also strongly urges Mercutio to stay out of trouble on a hot summer's day, warning him against getting into a fight with Tybalt on the streets of Verona.

Tybalt is depicted as a hothead spoiling for a fight with Romeo. Tybalt doesn't like that Romeo was flirting with his cousin Juliet at the masquerade, showing he is protective or, possibly, controlling of his cousin. However, Tybalt is willing to fight anyone. Juliet's deep grief when she hears of Tybalt's death indicates he was more than just a hothead. The entire family appears to be shattered by his murder, hinting at depths to his character we don't see.

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Alec Cranford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Benvolio is above all a man of good will. He is a kinsman of Romeo, and no friend to the Capulets, but above all he wants to maintain the peace, and keep his friends Romeo and Mercutio from getting into scrapes. He also tries to save Romeo by giving an honest account to the Prince of what happened in the fight that left Tybalt and Mercutio dead. He is one of the more level-headed characters in the play.

Tybalt, on the other hand, is extremely hot-blooded. Like Benvolio, he is loyal, but in a different way. As a Capulet, he is so filled with hatred for the Montagues that he even wants to attack Romeo after Lord Capulet tells him not to. It is his aggressive and vindictive nature that leads to the fight in the streets, which led to his and Mercutio's death, and Romeo's banishment.

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