Romeo and Juliet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Why is Tybalt to blame for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet?

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One could argue that Tybalt is the primary antagonist in the play, and that his brash, aggressive actions indirectly lead to Romeo and Juliet's tragic deaths. In act one, scene five, Romeo and his close friends sneak into Lord Capulet's ball, where he sees Juliet for the first time and expresses his feelings regarding her beauty aloud. Tybalt overhears Romeo and immediately recognizes his voice. As a fierce, hostile individual, Tybalt is offended by Romeo's presence and attempts to fight him. However, Lord Capulet prevents Tybalt from ruining the ball and manages to control him for the time being. Tybalt then vows to get revenge on Romeo and proceeds to challenge him to a duel later in the play.

Romeo then secretly marries Juliet in Friar Laurence's cell, which changes his opinion of the Capulet family. When Tybalt challenges Romeo in act three, scene one, Romeo refuses to participate in the duel and Mercutio defends his honor by accepting Tybalt's challenge. In the middle of Mercutio and Tybalt's...

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