Characters in Romeo and Juliet

A brief overview and quotes on some of the key characters in Romeo and Juliet

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Tybalt

  • Capulet
  • Juliet's Cousin
  • Aggressive
  • Fast and quick witted
  • angry
  • consumed by hate
  • reckless
  • brave
  • foolhardy
  • "The fiery Tybalt" 100,1,1
  • "What, drown and talk of peace? I hate the word/As I hate hell, all montague and thee"
  • Strong words as they would have believed in religion that hell and the devil were real
  • Key events:
  • Act1 SCene2 - wants to fights Romeo at the feast but Capulet tells him not to - Tybalt feels angry and embarrased - he wants revenge: "Patience perforce with wilful cholel meeting/...this intrusion shall/now seemingly sweet convert to bittrest gall
  • Act3 Scene1 - Tybalt wants to kill Romeo "thou art a villain" - Instead he kill Mercutio -In return Romeo kills Tybalt on a spur of the moment "either thou or I...must go" -This sparks Romeo's banishment
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Benvolio

  • Montague
  • Romeo's cousin
  • Peacemaker
  • Not aggresive
  • Humble
  • Tries to stop the fight between Tybalt, Romeo and Mercutio "I pray thee, good Mercutio, lets retire" "If we meet we shall not scape a brawl"
  • He doesn't try to start fights "I do but keep the peace. Put up thy sword/Or manage it to part these men with me"
  • He tells the story of the fight truthfully when asked to bear witness "Tybalt, here slain,who Romeo's hand did slay"
  • Benvolio tries to cure Romeo of his obsession with Rosaline by telling him to look at other girls "forget to think of her" "examine other beauties"
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Lady Capulet

  • Lacking Maternal love
  • Criticises her husbands age "a crutch, a crutch, why call you for a sword" (1,1)
  • Tries to pressure Juliet into marrying Paris "younger than you...ladies of esteem/are already made mothers" (1,3)
  • She wishes death upon her own daughter for disobedience "I would the fool were married to her grave" (3,5)
  • "I have done with thee" (3,5) she disowns Juliet for disobeying her Father.
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Lady Montague

  • Montague
  • ROmeo's mother
  • "Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe"(1,1) She doesn't want her husband to fight
  • She cares deeply about Romeo (In contrast to how Lady C. sees Juliet)
  • She dies shortly after Romeo does (possibly from grief?)
  • She is glad Romeo wasn't at a scrap between Capulet and Montague "Right glad I am he(romeo) was not at this fray" (1,1)
  • She is worried about Romeo when he is depressed "O where is Romeo?"
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Lord Capulet

  • Refuses Paris' offer of marriage
  • He says she is too young "too soon marred are those so early made"
  • Forward thinking - unusual to give Juliet the choice of marriage "my will to her consent"
  • "Earth hath swallowed all my hopes but she" - all of his other children have died
  • HOWEVER in Act 3 Scene 5 he verbally abuses Juliet for not wanting to marry Paris after he has arranged it in Act 3 Scene 4 -"Whining Marmet "Green Sickness Carrion" "Tallow face"
  • He threatens to throw her out "I'll sell you to my friend"
  • He says Juliet will be "ruled by me"
  • He is heartbroken when she dies "Alack my child is dead/And with my child my joys are buried"
  • He still wants to fight Montague at beginning of the play "Give me my long sword ho!" (1,1)
  • After the deaths, he ends the feud "O brother Montague, give me thy hand"
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Friar Lawrence

  • Friend of Romeo
  • Thinks marriage will end the feud "For this alliance mat so happy prove/to turn your households rancour to pure love" (2,3)
  • Naive
  • "Wisely and slow they stumble that run fast" (2,3) This is ironic because he is rushing into marrying Romeo and Juliet
  • Tells Romeo how lucky he is - tries to snap him out of depression
  • Provides him with sound advice after he kills Tybalt - both R and J are alive AND he can go to Mantua and return later to tell everyone about the marriage
  • Sexist? "Women may fall when there's no strength in men"
  • Herbologist
  • "grace and rude will" - two sides to a man's character
  • He should know better than to marry R & J - he is a priest!
  • He gives Juliet the liquor to send her to sleep and arranges the plan to return ROmeo to Verona.
  • He says it is his fault that they dies - yet doesn't want to take the blame "I stand both to impeach and purge myself condemned and myself excused"
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Mercutio

  • Intensely changeable
  • Not very thoughtful
  • Queen Mab speech
  • Offends the Nurse - Ugly, Fat, Brothel keeper, old meat
  • Attitudes towards women - he is higher status and male!
  • "Vile submission" men should FIGHT
  • Tries to wind Romeo up about Rosaline "quivering thigh"
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