Explore Tybalt’s role in Romeo & Juliet
Romeo and Juliet is a romantic tragedy written by William Shakespeare about two lovers whose families hate each other, yet fate brings them together and despite the grudge that each family holds for the other they fall in love. Unfortunately they can’t be together, because their families hate each other. In the end they both commit suicide and because of their deaths their families are reconciled.
In the play Tybalt is Juliet’s cousin, a member of the Capulet family. He is a very cocky and aggressive character who’s always looking for a fight. To the audience Tybalt would appear to be a villain. He is the opposite of Romeo; who’s a lover not a fighter.
Even though he is considered a minor character and dies very early in the play Tybalt has a huge impact on the storyline of 'Romeo and Juliet', he is the catalyst that changes others while he remains the same; he is involved in the play’s tragic ending.
The audience first sees Tybalt in Act 1 Scene 1 where Benvolio is appealing to him to help him stop the servants fighting in the town square. Benvolio says to Tybalt ‘Put up your swords; you know not what you do.’ and Tybalt replies by saying ‘What, art thou drawn among these heartless hinds?’ Here we see that rather than accepting the responsibility that he has as Lord Capulet’s nephew he would rather be inciting the servants to fight. By calling Benvolio a ‘hind’ he is comparing him to a female deer which would be a dreadful insult to someone of Benvolio’s status. Tybalt’s words ‘I hate peace’ establish his character in the minds of the audience. Having the play start with a fight would engage and interest an Elizabethan audience.
We next see Tybalt in Act 1 Scene 5, this is the scene where Romeo and Juliet fall in love. The play starts off romantic but the moment when Tybalt recognises Romeo’s voice is when the play turns into a tragedy. When Romeo is speaking his famous soliloquy, ‘O she doth teach the torches to...