• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Mercutio, Benvolio and Tybalt give us three very different portraits of the young men who are part of Verona society. Compare these characters and their roles and their roles in the play.

Extracts from this document...


Adam Lane 10r2 Mercutio, Benvolio and Tybalt give us three very different portraits of the young men who are part of Verona society. Compare these characters and their roles and their roles in the play. In the play "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare there are two families, the Capulets and the Montagues. Benvolio is a nephew to Montague and Tybalt is a nephew to Lord and Lady Capulet. Mercutio is a friend of Romeo, who is a member of the Montague family, and he is also a nephew of the Prince. Young men in Verona society were very aware of status and people would never fight below their rank, this was seen as cowardly. Fencing was very popular in Verona as there are many references to this. It was the most popular sport, just like football in England now. People in Verona also enjoyed wordplay, usually involving sexual puns. People still do this today in jokes. I will now examine the characters attitude to violence and fencing and explore the similarities and differences. In the play Benvolio is definitely the peacemaker because on many occasions when a fight is going on Benvolio always tries to break it up. "Part fools, put up your swords." I think this quotation suggests that Benvolio thinks he is better than the servants who are fighting and that he thinks they are "fools" for fighting with each other. ...read more.


This tells me that Benvolio is trying to stop a fight from breaking out. He uses forceful monosyllabic instructions to demand peace. He rarely joins in the wordplay that the other characters are fond of. In Act 1 scene 1 all of the characters use word play but Benvolio uses simple language. However in Act 2 scene 4 he does join in the word play with the others. "Thou wouldst else have made thy tale large." Benvolio uses poetic language when he talks about Romeo, "See where he comes. So please you step aside." He uses contrasts between light and dark, he also uses rhyming couplets: "Compare her face with some that I shall show, And I will make thee think thy swan a crow." Benvolio is probably the wittiest person in the play judging by his language. Tybalt always uses very aggressive language, he always commands people to do things. "To strike him dead, I hold it not a sin." Tybalt is using very extreme language. This suggests that Tybalt is a very aggressive character in contrast to Benvolio who commands to try and keep the peace. Tybalt is not witty enough to use the wordplay that Benvolio and Mercutio use. He always uses simple language when he speaks. For example in Act 3 scene 1, when everyone is using wordplay to build up to the fight, however Tybalt doesn't join in, "What wouldst thou have with me?" ...read more.


Mercutio's role in the play is to contrast to Romeo, his love sickness and his romantic language. Mercutio is a very lively character and his view of love is different to Romeos. "Without his roe like a dried herring." He sets the scene for Romeo and Juliet's fate by describing Romeo's other relationships which ended badly. "Cleopatra a gipsy, Helen and Hero hildings and harlots." He makes the play humorous and his death forwards the plot. When he dies the comedy dies with him and the play gets serious. Tybalt is in the play to contrast Benvolio's peacemaking, as Tybalt always looks to start a fight. He also contrasts with Romeo's language of love with his aggressive nature. "To strike him dead, I hold it not a sin." Tybalt forwards the plot by saying that he will get his revenge on Romeo for gate crashing the Capulet party. "But this intrusion shall, Now seeming sweet, convert to bitterest gall." Tybalt leaves the play in Act 3 scene 1, after he kills Mercutio because he has fulfilled his role. Overall, I think that Benvolio is used as a contrast to Tybalt's aggression and to summarise the play. Tybalt is there to show that fighting was a big part of Verona society and to contrast to Romeo's romantic language. Mercutio is in the play to liven it up and to add comedy to it. I think that Tybalt was the best example of a typical person in Old Verona. All of these characters leave the play in Act 3 scene 1 so that the audience can focus on Romeo and Juliet. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Romeo and Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and Contrast the characters of Mercutio and Tybalt.

    3 star(s)

    enough to help him into his house so he can rest peacefully when he returns he also say another kind thing which is "That gallant spirit hath aspired the clouds". Romeo also plays a part by seeking out revenge on Tybalt so much that he actually kills him.

  2. Explore the attitude of each of the four young men (Benvolio, Mercutio, Tybalt and ...

    Later, however, Benvolio speaks of Tybalt more favourably: ... was stout Tybalt slain. (3.1.164) On this occasion, Benvolio seems to be attempting to present a fair view. However Benvolio is perhaps just trying to impress the Prince. All in all, Benvolio fails rather miserably in his attempts to stop the other three young men from fighting.

  1. Explore the attitudes of each of the four young men involved-Romeo, Mercutio, Tybalt and ...

    and then Juliet dies as a result of suicide. Rome is age fourteen and does not appear till the second scene despite being the titular hero. Romeo is a characternym derived from the word romantic this tells us allot about him.

  2. The Characters in this play are:

    Friar Lawrence agrees to marry them in effort to end the feuding between the families. Unfortunately, the fight gets worse and Mercutio (Montague), a good friend of Romeo's, ends up fighting Tybalt (Capulet), Juliet's cousin. Tybalt kills Mercutio, which causes Romeo to kill Tybalt in an angry rage.

  1. A Character Study on Tybalt and Mercutio, and as Director What Instructions I would ...

    I have described how I would wish Tybalt to look so thoroughly as I think it is very important. Visual intimidation is, in my opinion, a key factor to influence first impressions on the audience, and make the play more realistic as stereotypes surround people's appearances in everyday life.

  2. Imagine that you are an actor who has just played the part of Mercutio ...

    In the film it is also suggesting he is getting carried away because of drugs. Mercutio is also shown as being a person with a fiery temper and he is always looking to get into a fight with the Capulets.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work