Mercutio and Tybalt are very different in some ways and in others, they are very alike. Socially they are extremely different, Mercutio is always trying to have fun and crack jokes and enjoy his life while Tybalt, is very straight laced and serious in his manner. From a modern standpoint, we would say that Mercutio is the life and soul of the party and all of his friends like to be around him but when it comes to Tybalt, we see him as the guy nobody likes because he is too serious and is always looking to start a quarrel.
Whereas, from an old fashioned religious point of view, Mercutio would be seen as a hell raiser and a trouble maker and Tybalt would be seen as the honourable man trying to keep his family’s name from becoming a disgrace while trying to protect his cousin. If he hadn’t of been so quarrelsome, the family fued would not have been so bad and Romeo and Juliet would not have had to be so secretive.
If they hadn’t have had to be so secretive they wouldn’t have had to kill themselves.
They were both honourable men, as you can say that both of them were willing to die for their friends and family and they both did. Mercutio saved his friend Romeo from getting killed by Tybalt and Tybalt died because he killed Mercutio while trying to defend his family’s honor. Tybalt and Mercutio are like a ying-yang, completely opposites, yet each have a part of the other somewhere inside.
On the outside, Tybalt and Mercutio are opposite in how they balance out the play. Tybalt is hot tempered and Mercutio is the obvious comic relief and very carefree.
Yet, they each have that same kind of feeling inside that keeps them each from understanding the true love between Romeo and Juliet. Tybalt rejects the whole idea of them being together. He sees Romeo as a threat to his family’s reputation. Mercutio often makes fun of Romeo, regardless of who he is in love with, saying that love is just a mind game and to get his head out of the clouds. Nether of them understand the subject of love, because their priorities are on other matters other than Romeo and Juliet’s love.
Tybalt’s purpose in the play is to cause conflict by dragging on the long time, since dormant feud between the two households. This is shown at the Capulet’s party when he goes to start a quarrel with the Montagues and Lord Capulet’s family stops Tybalt from starting trouble and says this is a time for love not war. Tybalt sees Romeo and straight away thinks of him as a threat and thinks that Romeo is challenging him by just being at the party. He brings Romeo’s presence to the attention of Lord Capulet in order to cause conflict.
This is an example of how Tybalt is a character that does not have the ability to just forget about the whole feud and find a way to settle it; he just seeks revenge on any member of the Montague family. In contrast, Mercutio attempts to stop Tybalt’s thirst for vengeance when he tries to duel Romeo but ultimately gets killed in the process of trying to save his good friend from being killed by Tybalt which causes Romeo to take vengeance upon Tybalt by killing him. Tybalt’s loyalty to his family is very significant to him, because even though he does it for the wrong reasons, it is with good intention as he is honoring his family’s name.
For example at the Capulet’s ball, he is protecting his family’s reputation because he thinks Romeo is trying to cause harm to the Capulet name. Mercutio’s loyalty to Romeo is important, because Romeo would most likely be dead if it wasn’t for Mercutio. Mercutio advises Romeo about situations in his life; in this case, it is love. If Romeo had listened to Mercutio, he might have lived and wouldn’t have died for love. His advice saved Romeo in the street, when in reality; he set himself up to die. Being Romeo’s best friend was the catalyst to his death.
Also, when being Romeo’s best friend, he didn’t mix his words where other people would not be so forthcoming Mercutio and Tybalt are alike in one more way, neither of them approved of Romeo and Juliet’s relationship but they did not go about trying to change it in the same way. Mercutio went the right way about it by trying to be diplomatic about the matter, but the belligerent and pedantic Tybalt tried to solve it with violence which ultimately led to a string of deaths starting with Mercutio and ending with the starstruck lover’s Romeo and Juliet.
Mercutio’s character adds lightness and hilarity to one of the world’s supreme stories of heartbreak and shows that even in Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy, he can still inject humour. Tybalt and Mercutio being like the ying-yang of the play makes the play flow better and keep Romeo in check. Without them, everything would go as planned with Romeo and Juliet’s love and the play would not have lasted for years as one of the most famous plays in the world and Shakespeare would not be the well known writer he is today.