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Who is to blame for the deaths of tybalt and mercutio?

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Introduction

Who do you think is most to blame for the deaths of Tybalt and Mercutio? The deaths of Tybalt and Mercutio occur in Act 3 Scene 1. The scene begins with Benvolio and Mercutio talking. Benvolio is trying to persuade Mercutio to leave because, if the Capulets are around, there would be trouble e.g. "I pray thee good Mercutio let's retire". Benvolio is used by Shakespeare as a peacemaker, he will not argue or upset anybody and will not side with anyone as he is neither Capulet or Montague, he is, however, Romeo's friend. When Tybalt enters, he is very confident and obviously thought greatly of himself. He was looking for Romeo whom he wants to fight. Mercutio was teasing Tybalt because of his name, Tibalt was a cat in an old story so he calls Tybalt a "rat-catcher" and "king of cats". Later, when Romeo appears, he doesn't want to fight because he and Tybalt are now related. This is called dramatic irony, as we know Romeo has married Juliet but the other characters don't. Mercutio and Tybalt end up fighting and, as Romeo tries to stop the fight, Tybalt stabs Mercutio. He dies after being accidentally wounded under Romeo's arm. Because of this Romeo seeks revenge and kills Tybalt. Romeo realises there will be trouble so he runs away. The Prince and Lord and Lady Capulet and Montague arrive to find out what's happened. ...read more.

Middle

"...and so good Capulet, which name I tender as dearly as my own, be satisfied." were the words spoken to Tybalt by Romeo which probably confused him because the two families had an "ancient grudge" and were known to hate each other. Tybalt probably wondered why Romeo now loved the Capulets as much as he loved his own family, the Montagues. This is an example of dramatic irony. You could therefore argue that Romeo is to blame for Mercutio's death because if Romeo was not so love-struck when he met Juliet he wouldn't have married her. The day before he was totally in love with Rosaline. If the marriage between Juliet and him hadn't happened then Romeo probably would have fought Tybalt and Mercutio would not have been involved at all, therefore Mercutio would not have been killed. Duels were more popular between young men because it gave them the chance to show off their swordsmanship. Mercutio blames the feud for his death: "a plague on both your houses". There would not have been any cause for fighting if the feud was non-existant. If there was no grudge between them, Tybalt and Romeo would not have been against each other. The feud between the Capulets and Montagues had been going on for so long, nobody knew what started it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also this is where the play becomes more serious, in the tragic second half of the play there wasn't really a place for Mercutio's high spirits or Tybalt's so he had to go to make sure the audience would concentrate on the main story. The play would also have started to "drag" if he hadn't killed off some characters. After this scene, neither the Nurse or Benvolio are seen again because also they are not needed, they have done their bit now and Shakespeare needs to get on with making Romeo and Juliet the main characters. If Benvolio was still there he would still be peace-making with everybody when the play needed some tragedy whilst leading up to the death of Romeo and Juliet. This is an excellent example of stagecraft and shows Shakespeare the dramatist at work. In conclusion, having considered all the evidence, I think that no-one is to blame for the death of Tybalt and Mercutio because there are many What ifs? But they are not what happened. Mercutio and Tybalt were at the wrong place at the wrong time, they were just very unlucky. Fate decides what happens to everybody, and what happens just happens, there is no changing it. Everything happens for a reason and in this case fate intervened and they died, it's no-one's fault. ...read more.

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