Romeo and Juliet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Why did Tybalt kill Mercutio? I'm typing a paper about the villain in the play and I think it's Tybalt because if he wouldn't have killed Mercutio, Romeo wouldn't have gotten into that rage and got himself banished from Verona.

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Matt Copeland eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I think it is important to remember that Tybalt's complaint is with Romeo and not with Mercutio. Remember that Tybalt was upset with Romeo's presence at the Capulet part; it was Mercutio who actually had a legitimate invitation.

In fact, when Tybalt confronts Mercutio (Act III, scene i) it is only to determine the whereabouts of Romeo. When Romeo appears, Tybalt stands down against Mercutio with the line: "Well, peace be with you, sir: here comes my man."

It is Mercutio, then, who continues to provoke Tybalt, particularly because Romeo refuses to fight. Romeo then comes between Mercutio and Tybalt in hopes of separating them. It is at this moment that Mercutio receives his fatal wound. It is not intentional on the part of Tybalt; it happens only because Romeo is in the way.

It could be argued that Romeo is as much to blame for Mercutio's death as is Tybalt.

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coachingcorner eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In the play "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare, the author show us, in Act 3 Scene 1 how Mercutio teases Benvolio, and then tries to mock and humiliate Mercutio. Mercutio usually is up for anything that looks like a bit of fun - he is quite a disruptive character who likes to get attention. But Tybalt won't be distracted and is determined to get Romeo to duel with him. From their past history, this is probably in fun and competition at first. Romeo, floating on cloud nine from love of Juliet and good will to all his new kin, isn't interested. So Mercutio draws his sword and in the ensuing fight both Mercutio and Tybalt get killed. Things have gone too far, and when they get out of control people get killed in the fallout, not necessarily from a prime motive for murder.

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missy575 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I think Tybalt killed Mercutio as a result of not being able to get Romeo fired up for a fight.

Tybalt was upset that Romeo trespassed at the party. So, he went and found the guys but Romeo wasn't there yet. He and Mercutio have a war of words and then Romeo walks up. Tybalt tries to engage Romeo in a fight, but Romeo is happy to just let Tybalt take him out. Mercutio can't stand watching his friend Romeo just give up, so he gets involved. He and Tybalt end up fighting. Romeo tries to break them up and Tybalt takes a cheap shot while Romeo is in between them. I think Mercutio provoked the fight, but Tybalt shows how cold-hearted he is by not fighting fair. A villian will take advantage of a situation like that and I think you now have more reason to point the finger at him.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In my opinion, Tybalt kills Mercutio because he is a complete hothead.  Tybalt really hates the Montagues and wants to fight them at every turn.

Think about what he has already said and done in the play up to this point.  At the start of the play, he wants to fight Benvolio when Benvolio is trying to break up the fight between the two families' servants.  Then, later on in Act I, Lord Capulet has to stop him from attacking Romeo.  He wants to attack Romeo when he sees him at the Capulets' party.

So from this you can see that he is really quick tempered and always looking for a fight, at least with anyone who is a Montague.

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