Who Challenges Romeo To A Duel And Why
In Romeo and Juliet, who has sent Romeo a challenge for a duel?
In William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, Tybalt functions as a catalyst for a conflict that helps move the play’s action along. After encountering the masked Romeo at the Capulet’s ball, the hot-headed Tybalt challenges Romeo to a duel by sending a letter to “his father’s house.”
The audience is not entirely surprised by this development because the play actually opened with a conflict between the houses of Capulet and Montague when they encounter each other in the streets of Verona. During this exchange, which almost comes to swordplay, Benvolio of the house of Montague asks Tybalt to help him keep the peace. Tybalt, however, cannot see past his anger and responds with:
What, drawn, and talk of peace? I hate the
As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee.
Have at thee, coward!
Tybalt would rather fight than try to calm the others down. So when he sees Romeo of the hated Montague's at the ball, he is not able to respond calmly.
The ensuing duel between Tybalt and Romeo results in Tybalt’s death and makes it impossible for Romeo and Juliet to be together in Verona. One event leads to another and they both dies tragically at the end of the story.
In Act II, Scene iv, it is Tybalt, Juliet's cousin, who sends Romeo a challenge for a duel. Tybalt tends to be hot-tempered, and he is angry that Romeo came to the Capulet party the night before uninvited. It was a masked ball, but Tybalt was able to recognize Romeo by his voice. When the more benevolent Lord Capulet refuses to make Romeo leave, Tybalt storms out in fury, and vents his anger by issuing the challenge the next day.