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Tybalt (Romeo and Juliet)

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What, drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word! As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee. Have at thee, coward!
~ Tybalt challenges Benvolio.

Tybalt is the aggressive cousin of Juliet from Shakespeare's play The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. He is the nephew of Lord and Lady Capulet, the cousin of Juliet, the rival of Romeo Montague and one of the most prominent antagonists of the play - after his death, Lord Capulet displaces the late Tybalt as the primary antagonist. He constantly likes to pick fights to defend his honor and take revenge on those who offend him.

In the Play

Tybalt first appears at the beginning of the play, during a fight between the servants of the Montagues and the Capulets, two rivaling, aristocratic families. Benvolio, a cousin and friend of Romeo's, tries to stop the fighting, but Tybalt challenges him, and they both fight, until the battle is stopped by the Prince of Verona. Later in the play, Tybalt spots Romeo at a Capulet party, he wishes to duel him then and there, but is stopped by Lord Capulet. Furious, he vows to get revenge on Romeo at the earliest opportunity.

Later, Tybalt looks for Romeo and finds Benvolio and Mercutio, another one of Romeo's friends. They insult each other before Romeo shows up. Tybalt purposely tries to provoke Romeo into a fight. Romeo responds mildly to his abuse and refuses to fight (due to Romeo being secretly married to Tybalt's cousin Juliet). Tybalt attacks him, so Mercutio challenges Tybalt to a duel instead. Romeo tries to stop them from fighting, and after a violent brawl Tybalt wounds Mercutio while he is distracted by Romeo’s interference. When Mercutio falls, seriously wounded, Tybalt exits. But he comes back in time for Romeo to challenge him to a duel to avenge Mercutio’s death. After an intense struggle, Romeo manages to stab Tybalt, killing him.

Because Romeo kills Tybalt, the Prince of Verona elects to banish Romeo.

Personality

Tybalt is extremely hotheaded, violent, merciless, belligerent, dangerous, warlike, aggressive, pugnacious, quarrelsome, and calculating, so he possesses a legendary temper. He is intelligent, and quickly recognized Romeo at the party and felt he was there to disturb the peace. He is impulsively quick to start a fight with whom he viewed with intense hatred as an enemy, and freely admitted that he hates peace and all Montagues. Tybalt possesses a misplaced sense of honor to his family: his actions throughout the play are motivated by his exaggerated sense of duty to his family.

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