In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare uses his minor characters to enhance the conflict. Benvolio and Tybalt alike contribute to the complications that ultimately result in the plays’ tragedy. Benvolio plays the eternal peacekeeper, while Tybalt incessantly agitates the situation. Benvolio is a peacekeeper. For example, when Tybalt asks “why are you here”, Benvolio says “I do but keep the peace”, because he doesn’t want to fight. This shows he is keeping peace because he does not react angrily to Tybalt. In addition, when Mercutio and Tybalt were fighting, Benvolio said, “put up your swords. You know not what you do.” Mercutio knows that it’s hot out and that they are likely to have a temper. Furthermore, when Mercutio was in the town and saw Tybalt, Benvolio says, “I pray thee let us retire”. This is another sign of peace. Tybalt, however, is a trouble maker. For example, when Benvolio says “I do but keep the peace”, Tybalt says “I hate the word as I hate hell”. This shows readers that Tybalt is a troublemaker because he uses a simile to compare how much he hates peace to hell. In addition, he also says “here comes my man” to Mercutio when referring to Romeo. Tybalt is being obnoxious because he is insulting Romeo by saying he is his servant. Furthermore, when Tybalt is trying to get Romeo to fight him, he calls him a boy. Calling him a boy is insulting since he is portrayed as a man and is married. Being called a boy is calling him immature. These examples show Tybalt’s true character. Whether instigating trouble or trying to keep the peace, both Tybalt and Benvolio act out of strong belief. Benvolio is sincere but never really achieves the designed peace. Tybalt, however, archives his goal of trouble. He gets killed.
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