Who Is to Blame for Mercutio's Death

Topics: Characters in Romeo and Juliet, Romeo and Juliet, Romeo Montague Pages: 3 (1036 words) Published: May 1, 2012
. Firstly, Tybalt is to blame for Mercutio’s death as he actually gave him the wound that killed him. Also, Tybalt provokes Mercutio by insulting Romeo, ‘Thou art a villain.’ This is one of the biggest insults that Tybalt can give and would usually be followed by a duel. However, Romeo calmly replies by saying ‘Villain I am none / Therefore farewell. I see thou know’st me not.’ Because Romeo is not defending his honour, Mercutio is provoked by Tybalt’s insults and starts insulting Tybalt himself. This is what leads to the two of them fighting and Mercutio getting his fatal wound. So, if Tybalt didn’t insult Romeo or fight Mercutio, Mercutio wouldn’t have been killed.

Romeo is also to blame for Mercutio’s death because he did not defend his honour when Tybalt insulted him, ‘I do protest I never injured thee, / But love thee.’ This calm response to the insults he got from Tybalt is a big cause of Mercutio’s death. The context of the play means that the characters have to defend their honour, so the insult ‘thou art a villain’ would have usually caused a duel. However, Romeo is a renaissance man, so he doesn’t defend his honour. Mercutio doesn’t like this ‘calm, dishonourable, vile submission’ and defends Romeo’s honour for him. This resulted in Mercutio and Tybalt fighting, which caused Mercutio to die. If Romeo had defended his honour, Romeo would have fought with Tybalt instead of Mercutio.

Mercutio is responsible for his own death because he provokes Tybalt into fighting him ‘Come, sir, your passado!’ When Tybalt insults Romeo, Romeo tries to keep Tybalt from fighting with him. However, Mercutio, because of his honour, defends Romeo by insulting Tybalt which he doesn’t have to do. This causes the fight which kills Mercutio. From this point of view, it is Mercutio’s own fault because he shouldn’t have defended Romeo’s honour; he should have tried to make peace with Tybalt like Romeo. If Mercutio had done this, the fight would have...
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