For many years there has been bitter quarrelling between the two leading families of Verona, the Montagues and the Capulets. Act 3 scene 1 is a very dramatic scene, many unfortunate things happen. There are a number of deaths including Tybalt Capulet and Mercutio good friend of Romeo and kinsman to the Prince. Then the death of Tybalt results in Romeo being banished from Verona to Mantua.
At the beginning of the scene Benvolio fears the meeting of the Capulets because the prince said they are not allowed to fight anymore. This was because there had been three civil brawls already. The fights start whenever or wherever servants or members of the two families meet. It then gets worse and escalates into a civil brawl. This ends up with someone getting hurt or even gets killed. Mercutio is very wreckless and acts as if he doesn’t care about the outcome. “By my heel I care not.” Benvolio also fears the meeting of the Capulets because of what happened in Act 1 scene 1. “And if we shall meet we shall not ‘scape a brawl, for now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.” Act 1 Scene 1 is the scene where it was set in the petrol station in Baz Luhrman’s adaptation of the play.
Tybalt’s arrival made the audience feel that something bad is going to happen. The reason for this is because they know that Tybalt wants revenge. It all started when Romeo gatecrashes the Capulet’s ball. They go in disguise wearing masks, something that was quite common at such gatherings.
At the party, Tybalt recognises Romeo’s voice. He feels his family has been insulted by Romeo’s presence and swears to have his revenge, as Lord Capulet stopped him. Tybalt couldn’t let Romeo get away with gate crashing the party; otherwise it would have ruined his reputation. To prevent this he wanted to get Romeo in public where everybody can see.
Tybalt is very aggressive and belligerent. When Romeo enters Tybalt insults him so everyone could hear him, “Here comes my man. ……Romeo the love I bear thee can afford no better term than this; thou art a villain.” Tybalt said it so everybody could here him because he wanted to prove that he live up to his reputation. An Elizabethan audience would expect Romeo to accept the fight. This is because you were thought of as a coward if you didn’t fight. But Romeo acts the complete opposite way and refuses to fight. This is because earlier in the play Romeo got married to Juliet, Tybalt’s cousin, this meant that Romeo was now related to Tybalt.
Mercutio gets involved in the fight and takes Romeo’s place, as he is very disappointed in Romeo. Shakespeare created tragic irony and dark comedy in the way Mercutio dies. William Shakespeare made Romeo stand between Tybalt and Mercutio to try and prevent the fight. It all backfired and it resulted that the intervention caused Mercutio’s death. Shakespeare also made Mercutio joke about his injuries to make him look good, “Aye! Aye! A scratch! A scratch!”
The audience may have felt sorry for Romeo in a way because he tried to stop the fight. Also because his best friend’s death was caused by his intervention. Some of the audience may have thought badly of him, as he was the culperite of the death of Mercutio.
Anger then overcomes Romeo who avenges his friend by killing Tybalt. After Tybalt died Romeo cursed himself, “Oh I am fortunes fool.” The importance of this is that he blames his love for Juliet for making him weak. At the end of the scene there is huge suspense where the Montagues are one side and the Capulet’s on the other with Prince Escalus in the middle. Each families wanted justice. The Prince decides not to sentence Romeo to death, but banishes him forever from Verona for his part in the fight.
This shows how the context of the play was built up and that it had many little twists to the story. In the end the Capulet’s and the Montagues put their arguing at rest and end up getting along. Romeo and Juliet both ended up killing themselves because of a little misunderstanding and cross communication.