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How does Shakespeare use Tybalt as a means of setting the play on its tragic path?

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet Essay During the past few weeks I have been studying Shakespeare's play; Romeo and Juliet. In this essay I am going to answer the question; how does Shakespeare use Tybalt as a means of setting the play on its tragic path? One of the undeniable facts of a tragic play is that it always ends in death. Normally there is a catalyst that forces the play towards this outcome and in the case of Romeo and Juliet, the Character is Tybalt. From a very early stage in the play it becomes apparent that Shakespeare has used Tybalt as a means of enhancing the bitterness between the Montague and Capulet families. Tybalt himself is a devout Capulet and it very keen to defend his name whenever he feels it is necessary. Usually this ends up with a fight or scrap with the Montague family. An example of this occurs in act one scene four in which members of the opposite families are on the verge of turning what was a small scrap into something far more brutal. ...read more.

Middle

Although Tybalt was already causing trouble before Romeos involvement, it was not enough for him alone to force the play down a more tragic path. Shakespeare includes Romeo to, in effect, help Tyabalt achieve this. In this scene however, the fighting is avoided for the time being as Capulet does not see Romeo as a potential threat and much to Tybalts annoyance, firmly states that there will be not fighting at his party. This only makes Tybalt even more eager to get at Romeo and at the end of the scene he says; "I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall now seeming sweet convert to bitter gall". In this Shakespeare has hinted that this will not be the last time Tybalt crosses paths with Romeo. Shakespeare has also deliberately set up a potential confrontation between Tyablt and Romeo, the hero of the play. In Tybalt's eyes, Romeos appearance at the party is an insult to his Capulet name and he is determined to punish him for it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Romeo, who is already grieving at the tragic death of his friend at the hands of Tybalt, is eager to get revenge and so this time does not back away from the fight. The two charactors begin to fight, and eventually Tybalt is slain. Shakespeare has used Tybalt for the cause of two deaths, Mercutios and his own, and by now it is too late for the play to conclude with anything other than tradgedy. After killing Tybalt, Romeo realizes what he has done and flees after Benvolio tells him to. Overall I think that Shakespeare uses Tybalts aggressive and violent personality as a means of setting the play on its tragic path. Without Tybalts hatred for Montagues, and determination to fight Romeo, there would probably be no deaths and the play may have followed a much different path. Shakespeare evidently created Tybalt to be the catalyst for violence and disruption between the two families in the play and in turn, because of this the only outcome would be tragedy. Carl Dodd 11u ...read more.

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