How Shakespeare portrays the characters in Act 3 Scene 1

Categories: CharacterShakespeare

My task is to summarize the 4 main characters in Act 3 scene 1 in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

The first character introduced in this scene is Benvolio he is perceived as a passive character because when he is with Mercutio he wants to stay out of trouble by saying,

“I pray thee good Mercutio, lets retire. The day is hot, the Capels (Capulets) are abroad, And if we meet, we shall not scape a brawl”. In the text where Benvolio speaks, he tries discourage Mercutio from trying to commence a fight he keeps his sentences fairly short.

This suggests that he has no seniority over Mercutio and it also makes him look somewhat reclusive.

When the Capulets are near approaching the Montagues Benvolio seems a little apprehensive by saying,

“By my head, here comes the Capulets”. Benvolio tries to play the peacemaker by saying

” Either withdraw into some private place, And reason coldly of your grievances. By saying that Benvolio separates him self from the families this makes him seem neutral and this also highlights his reclusive ness again.

In the Zefferelli version Benvolio is even more timid and frail than in text; Because this is a film version you can see the movements and facial expressions of a character. In the opening of the scene Benvolio is bullied physically by Mercutio’s roughness to him. This is because Mercutio is totally oblivious to his rough actions towards him. This emphasises Mercutio’s cockiness and his authority over Benvolio. You also notice that Benvolio is not a key person in the film and Mercutio reflects this by not even listen to Benvolio’s pleas to restrain him from causing a fracas in a public place.

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The second character introduced in this scene is Mercutio. He is the total opposite of Benvolio; Mercutio is argumentative, arrogant and accusing. He seems to think that nothing is his fault and by doing this he turns the blame on to other people E.G: “A plague on both your houses” the reason why he says this is because he has been stabbed during the brawl between the two families. This is ironic because he was the one who started the whole brawl between him and Tybalt.

Mercutio shows his argumentative side by instigating a fight by saying,

” And but one word with one of us? Couple it with something, make it a word and a blow”. This shows his aggressive and accusing side as well as being smug, I think the reason for this is because he wants to bring attention to himself and show that he is a senior figure in the eyes of Tybalt.

Tybalt is introduced he is seen as a leader, in the text it shows this by saying

” Follow me close for I will speak to them” Tybalt is an intense person full of anger but he has self-control. When Tybalt speaks he is confident and makes statements. Tybalts bluntness makes him the perfect advisory to Mercutio and he just as willing to fight as he is by saying

“You shall find me apt enough to that sir, an you will give me occasion”. Tybalt is known as great fighter as he has the nickname of “King of Cats” Mercutio ridicules Tybalt’s nickname by saying

“Rat Catcher” even though Mercutio has said that about his name it doesn’t bother Tybalt because he is the calm and collected one out of the two. This also shows he is obviously the more mature one out of the two and he turns a blind eye to that comment.

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How Shakespeare portrays the characters in Act 3 Scene 1. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

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