Romeo And Juliet Foils Essay

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In the play Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, there are many characters that are used as dramatic foils to one another. By creating these characters, he is able to give more information to the audience about the characters and give more meaning to the play overall by adding to the plot through their conflicts. Throughout the course of the play, there are two characters that stick out the most as dramatic foils; Tybalt and Benvolio. In the play, these two are considered foils since Tybalt is portrayed as an aggressive, hot-headed, and unreliable man, while Benvolio is shown as a trustworthy and rational man who takes on the role of peacekeeper and problem solver during disputes. All throughout the play, Tybalt is always trying to cause …show more content…

By using his words as his weapons, he is shown as one of the most rational and honest men in the play. From the first scene, the audience immediately begins to understand his personality and how necessary he is to the development of the play. During the fight between the servants, he jumps in and declares, “Part, fools!/ Put up your swords. You know not what you do.” (1.1.61-62) Benvolio is fully aware of how close the two families are to breaking out into a full out war with one another, and knows that this skirmish could easily be the start of it if he allowed the fight to continue. Him intervening shows how he has to act as the peacekeeper in order to keep things from escalating any further between the families. Another example is when him and Mercutio are talking in the streets at the end of Act 2. Here, Benvolio brings up that Tybalt has sent Romeo a letter challenging him to a duel. Mercutio remarks, “Alas poor Romeo! he is already dead; stabbed with a/ white wench's black eye; shot through the ear with a/ love-song; the very pin of his heart cleft with the/ blind bow-boy's butt-shaft: and is he a man to/ encounter Tybalt?”After being told of this letter, Benvolio is worried that with the state Romeo is in, physically and mentally, he would have no chance of winning. Benvolio then decides that it might be better if Mercutio were to fight instead. This demonstrates how Benvolio is acting as the problem …show more content…

Between the bickering that goes on between the two and the difference in personality types, they are hard to miss. One point in time when this is very noticeable is when Benvolio and Tybalt both see their servants fighting. Benvolio wants to try and talk them down, but Tybalt, being the cocky swordsman he is, wants to join in. He exclaims to Benvolio,”What, art thou drawn among these heartless hinds?/ Turn thee, Benvolio; look upon thy death.” (1.1.63-64) Benvolio understands the risks of allowing this fight to continue and wishes to end it ask quickly as possible, but all Tybalt wants is a good fight; he does not care about the servants’ quarrel anymore and has now turned his attention completely to Benvolio. The difference in the two is very clear, since both have their own distinct ways of wanting to stop the fight; one with words, the other with bloodshed. Another example of their contrasting personalities has to do with their trustworthiness. When Romeo, Benvolio, and Mercutio are at the party and Tybalt is ready to go fight them, Lord Capulet reprimands him saying,”You are a saucy boy. Is’t so, indeed?/ This trick may chance to scathe you. I know what./ You must contrary me!.../ Be quiet, or...For shame!/ I’ll make you quiet.” (1.5.83-88) Lord Capulet saying this shows the audience that not even his family trusts him to carry out such a task and that they will

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