Tybalt is an agent of the tragedy

Tybalt is an agent of the tragedy. The tragedy was always going to happen because the two lovers were ‘star-crossed’ and were always going to end in a tragic manner. We know this because of the prologue and we know it because that is what happens in tragedies.Tybalt is Juliet’s favourite cousin and he is also a prominent member of the Capulet gang which regularly fights the Montague gang. It is inevitable that Romeo should fight Tybalt after Tybalt kills Mercutio, one of Romeo’s best friendswho was killed protecting Romeo’s good name. Romeo unwittingly caused his best friend’s death, so he felt that he had to kill Tybalt in an act of revenge.Tybalt, however, was one of Juliet’s favourite cousins and when she finds out who killed him, she nearly changes her mind about Romeo. However, as soon as the Nurse begins to criticise Romeo, she changes her mind and the tragedy really begins where the two lovers kill themselves.The chorus tells us at the beginning of the play that Romeo and Juliet are a “Pair of star crossed lovers.” The implication of this is that they are fated to die because it is written in the stars.Both Romeo and Juliet have a sense of foreboding about the future and refer to the stars. In Act 1 scene 4 before going to the Capulets’ ball Romeo says:”My mind misgives some consequence, yet hanging in the stars…forfeit of untimely death.”Later when he is told of Juliet’s apparent death he says:”Then I defy you, stars!”In Act 5 scene 3, just before taking the poison he says:”Will I … shake the yoke of inauspicious stars from this world wearied flesh.”One of the ingredients in a tragedy is that there is usually a tragic flaw or weakness in the central character, which leads to their downfall. However, in the case of Romeo and Juliet the central reason for their deaths lies outside their characters. It is the family feud rather than any weakness in the lovers’ personalities that leads to the tragic end.There are several references in the play that suggest that the deaths are the result of divine workings. In Act 5 scene 3 the Friar says to Juliet:”A greater power than we can contradict hath thwarted our intents.”He is suggesting that the events are beyond human control. Later, when telling the Prince about what happened, he repeats this idea by saying:”I entreated her come forth and bear this work of heaven with patience.”The Prince also supports this notion when speaking to Romeo and Juliet’s parents:”Heaven finds means to kill your joys with love.”The Prince seems to be implying that the families have been punished because of their feuding.It would of course be possible to argue that the events of the play also turn on chance and wrong turnings. However, I hope that the above points will add to the arguments that you have already constructed for your assignment.How could it not be an important bit in the play?! The two lovers have been together for their wedding night, wake up, and find out that daylight is going to part them – probably (they think) for some time, as Romeo has been banished to Mantua for killing Tybalt. Juliet’s family is waking up and will discover Romeo soon. No wonder Juliet says:’O now be gone! More light and light it grows.’And no wonder Romeo replies:’More light and light: more dark and dark our woes.’It’s a key scene, emotionally – the best thing that can happen to two young lovers now turns out to be the beginning of what is possibly the worst thing that could happen to any two human beings, i.e. undeserved death .But it’s also the poetry which makes it so sad and powerful; when Juliet says:’Some say the lark makes sweet division.This doth not so, for she divideth us.’It is as if she is almost pouting childishly to make their parting less important or final, and the sort of joking pun on ‘divideth’/’division’ seems almost designed to comfort herself. But the lark is also an innocent, beautiful, natural creature and a reminder that she is too, and Romeo also, and that their forthcoming deaths (which we know already, from the Prologue) are to be all the more unnatural.The rest of the story you doubtless know: Juliet’s plan to take a sleeping pill for forty-eight hours and then escape to Mantua backfires. Romeo gets a message to say she’s dead, kills himself just a few terrible seconds before Juliet wakes up, as happy as during her night of passion with Romeo, to find her lover’s dead body next to her, in the cold tomb to which she had been taken.A fine play, and portrait of ‘young love struck down’ – enjoy it!This answer is posted on behalf of Fee.”Star-crossed” is a phrase that comes from the prologue to Romeo and Juliet. It literally means not favoured by the stars, or unfortunate. This is the first sign we have that the actions of the characters may be controlled by fate or the stars. Many references to fate are spoken by Romeo. Romeo comments that he fears the role of fate if he goes to the banquet at the Capulets: “my mind misgives some consequence yet hanging in the stars”. In act five scene 3, Romeo says that in death he will “shake the yoke of inauspicious stars”.Of course, the role of fate is only one explanation for the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. It is important to remember other key reasons such as the feuding families, the nature of young love and so on.When we first see Romeo he is a typical thoughtless young man, in love with love, ready to take silly risks in order to see the girl he fancies he is in love with. He uses the language of conventional courtly love to talk about her, look at Act 1 Scene 4:’I am too sore enpierced with his shaft…’But once he sees Juliet, in Act 1 Scene 5, he is shocked into using quite different language:’Oh she doth teach the torches to burn bright.’Have a look at these two scenes in detail and see how he is changing from a conventional young man with conventional emotions into a passionate lover.Look at the way the relationship between Romeo and Juliet matures him. In Act 3 Scene 1 he actually tries to get out of a fight between the Montagues and Capulets:’Villain I am none – therefore farewell.’He is in a wonderful mood because of his relationship with Juliet and he is also no longer the sort of ‘lad’ who likes a fight for the sake of it. It is a great shame that this doesn’t work with Tybalt!Despite his killing of Tybalt he still tries to maintain his relationship with Juliet, look at the mature way in which they carefully plan their future. I think it is not so much Juliet who changes him, but the relationship that he has with Juliet that changes him. Go back and have a look through the play and see what you think.

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