Why does Romeo suffer from internal conflict when he enters Act 3 Scene 1?

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wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator
In Romeo and Juliet Act 3 scene 1, Romeo does not enter at the begining of the scene. We see that Tybalt, Mercutio, and Benvolio begin the scene. By the time Romeo arrives, a conflict has already arisen. Tybalt's desire to fight with Romeo and his subsequent conflict with Romeo's friends causes Romeo a deep inner conflict. Tybalt is Romeo's enemy. Tybalt is insulting him and fighting with his friends. Romeo wants to fight back. He wants to hurt Tybalt in the way that Tybalt has hurt him. Romeo has been raised to hate Tybalt and it is very difficult for him not to react to Tybalt's insults. Romeo has just married Juliet, Tybalt's cousin. He cannot allow himself to fight with Tybalt for the sake of his new bride. Of course, neither Romeo's friends nor Tybalt understand his decision not to fight. Romeo is pressured to fight by his friends and by his enemy, but he must resist because of his love for Juliet.