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Romeo and Juliet Character Analysis

Character Analysis on Romeo, Juliet and Friar Laurence
by

Cassie Sneikus

on 28 October 2014

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Transcript of Romeo and Juliet Character Analysis

ROMEO &
Friar Laurence
character analysis
Tybalt
Benvolio
character traits
Peaceful
- Benvolio was always trying to keep the peace. His name, which was created by Shakespeare, means 'peace-maker'. He often tries to stop fights, or avoid them as much as possible.

Kind
- Benvolio was always looking out for Romeo, especially when he was so upset about his unrequited love towards Rosaline. He really cared about his well being, which is shown through the first major point in the play - Benvolio telling Romeo to go to the Capulet's ball to get over Rosaline, which is where he ends up meeting Juliet.

Genuine
- Benvolio is always genuine, especially with his feelings, and many people rely on him to find out information. For example, when Lord and Lady Montague are worried about their son, they ask Benvolio to find out what's wrong because he is trustworthy and he won't feed them lies as its just not his character.
JULIET
strength and weaknesses
Loyalty
- Tybalt has an immense sense of loyalty towards the Capulet family. He will do anything to protect his family, even if it isn't right in society's eyes.

Swordsman
- According to Mercutio, he is the best swordsman in Verona. Tybalt is skilled at his mastery and this is why Mercutio calls him the 'Prince of Cats
character traits
Trustworthy
- Friar Laurence is trusted by the whole of Verona. The Friar being a holy man makes him a person to be trusted even more. Many characters go to him for advice and support. Juliet even placed her life in the Friar’s hands when he gave her the potion that would put her into a deathlike state until Romeo came back.

Helpful
- The Friar loves to help the characters in the play, which in a way leads to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. He agrees to help Romeo by marrying Romeo and Juliet in hopes it will help the relationship between the Capulets and Montagues. He helps Juliet by giving her the potion that will stop her from marrying Paris.

Impartial
- The Friar neither leaned towards the Montagues or the Capulets. He treated them equally, although he had a close relationship with Romeo. However, he never took a side, which suggests why he was someone the families both came to with their troubles.
defining moments and impacts
strengths and weaknesses
character traits
song
song
strengths and
weaknesses
song
FUN FACT
Tybalt is called the 'Prince of Cats' by Mercutio. What is not commonly known is that the 'Prince of Cats' comes from folklore stories, called Reynard the Fox. In this, there is a cat named Tybalt (Tibert) who was quarrelsome.
Tybalt and his namesake seem to share similar qualities!
FUN FACT
In fiction, a foil is a term to describe two characters who are polar opposites, therefore highlighting each others main qualities. Benvolio was the foil of Tybalt. Out of the many differences, the most obvious difference is Benvolio's decisions in trying to keep the peace and Tybalt wanting to pick a fight.
Proud
- Tybalt is proud to be a Capulet, and he always wishes to defend his family's honour. He was fuming when the Montague's gate crashed his party, and even more so when Lord Capulet wouldn't allow him to fight them. Although this is also an example of Tybalt being hot-tempered, it is also an important example of his pride that was hurt here.

Hot-tempered
- Tybalt always wants to start a fight. It doesn't matter who with, but the Montagues is always on top of his list. When Benvolio tries to get Tybalt to help break up the fight, he would prefer to fight rather than make peace.

Arrogant
- Tybalt believes he is the best swordsman in Verona, and with his skills, no one can beat him. He repeatedly challenges Romeo to a swordfight, which is one of the reasons why Mercutio labels him the 'Prince of Cats'.

themes
themes
themes
Hate

Revenge

Rivalry
Wisdom

Age

Fate
Peace

Trust

Love

Mind Games (Make Love, Not War)
By John Lennon.

The song is an endorsement for peace and love, not war and hate, which is what Benvolio is trying to bring across. It is about love and using positive emotions to live instead of being negative and fighting.

Each song goes for approx. 2 minutes.

The description of each song for each character is in the respective character analysis'

thankyou :)
Gives You Hell
By the All-American Rejects

This song is basically about making the other person feel like hell. Originally, it's written by a guy who has been dumped by a girl but he doesn't care. It relates to Tybalt because all he wants to do is inflict hell on the Montagues and nothing they do affects him, he is just being plain annoying towards them.


Human
by The Killers

This song is controversial, but it relates with Friar Laurence deeply. It is about how sometimes we play puppet to fate, and we are often wondering for answers as to why this happen. It seems to resonate with the end, after Romeo and Juliet's deaths, when the Friar is left to contemplate his decisions. It's lyrics also talks about how fate controls us, not always us, or who we think.
Benvolio tries to get Romeo's mind off Rosaline by saying that they should gatecrash the Capulet's party. This event is the cause of many, many events that happen through the play. After all, if Romeo did not go to the party, he would never had met Juliet, and none of this would have happened.
Benvolio always tries to make peace and avoids confrontation. He hates being out in the open when Tybalt is prowling around, and suggested the ball because it was masquarade, meaning they couldn't be seen. He tries to keep the peace with Tybalt but Tybalt, being Benvolio's foil, just wanted to fight, which is what Benvolio is always trying to avoid. But at the end of a fight, he always is honest and tells the truth of the happenings in the Verona, which makes Benvolio a trustworthy man.
Peacemaking
- always tries to resolve situations with everyone, including the Capulets.

Loyalty
- He is exceptionally loyal to the Montague family, and especially to Romeo, whom he tries to protect at all costs, including standing up to the Prince to tell him the truth.

Common sense
- Sometimes Benvolio knows there will not be a good outcome but he tries anyway, like when he asked Tybalt to help him stop a fight - like thats ever going to happen.

Non-confrontational
- Benvolio prefered to stop fights rather than cause them, but this sometimes leads to fights, for example the fight between Tybalt and himself.
defining moments and impacts
Pride
- Tybalt lets his pride get in the way of anything and everything. When Romeo gatecrashed his party, he was absolutely livid that Lord Capulet didn't let him do anything about it.

Ego
- Tybalt has a huge ego. It sometimes gets in the way of his rational thinking (a lot) which leads to bad scenarios such as Tybalt being killed by Romeo after he killed Mercutio.
strengths
weaknesses
strengths
weaknesses
Good intentioned
- the Friar always bases his actions on the good for other people, although it might not always turn out as so. Friar Laurence is portrayed as a kindhearted person, therefore ruling out any possibility of him being bad orientated in his intentions.

Wise
- the Friar is very wise, and holds within him a vast expense of knowledge. Although his ideals might not apply to the current generation, there is still important points to regard that apply to Romeo and Juliet. After all, he is the person most people turn to for advice.
Age
- In some scenes, the Friars age difference impacts on the reasoning he tries to converse to Romeo. Because of the age barrier, his points don't always resonate with him, which creates conflict between the characters.

Humanity
- The Friar is viewed as a holy man, but he also has his human moments, when it is clear to see at the end of the day, he is just a man. Like when he deserted Juliet at her tomb, these small gestures or actions that seem insignificant shows that Friar Laurence isn't always God's man as he is portrayed.
strengths
weaknesses
defining moments and impacts

towards the Montagues
towards Romeo, also a character who initiates the feeling of revenge in others.
with the Montague household
"What, drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word
As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee.
Have at thee, coward!"
~ Tybalt, 1.1.64

" Romeo, the love I bear thee can afford
No better term than this: thou art a villain."
~ Tybalt, 3.1.56
“Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast”
~ Friar Laurence, 2.4.94
These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume.
~ Friar Laurence, 2.6.9
For this alliance so happy prove
To turn your households' rancour into pure love.
~ Friar Laurence 2.4.91
I do but keep the peace: put up thy sword,
Or manage it to part these men with me.
~ Benvolio, 1.1.82
Tut man, one fire burns out another's burning,
One pain is lessened by another's anguish.
~ Benvolio, 1.2.45
I pray thee, good Mercutio, let's retire.
The day is hot, the Capulets abroad.
And if we meet we shall not 'scape a brawl,
For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.
~ Benvolio, 3.1.1
Benvolio is the character who represents the theme of peace
Many people trust Benvolio deeply, as he is an honest person
Benvolio represents platonic love between himself and Romeo
The Friar is the voice of reason throughtout the whole play
There is a significant difference in the ideals and understandings between Romeo and Juliet's generation and the Friar's.
Fate thwarts all of Friar Laurence's plans
The Friar is the cause of many consequences throughout Romeo and Juliet. Some people have even gone so far to say that the Friar is responsible for the suicides of the star-crossed lovers. However, this is highly debatable, and not necessarily true.


As Romeo does have a close, heart-felt with his father, Friar Laurence often takes over that job, giving him that much needed wisdom. The Friar has a close relationship with Romeo, and because he is such a welcoming figure, this extends to Juliet later in the play when she has no one to turn to.
Any other man but the Friar could not have walked free after being caught in the madness of the suicides. The Friar was only believed (his side of the story was accepted) because he is a holy man. But sometimes he is not always a holy man, like when he deserted Juliet in her tomb. Could he have prevented her death if he had stayed and put his trust in the God whom he serves?
Tybalt is such an egotistical, arrogant character that he is impossible to like, as much as you can see from his point of view. He can be compared to many modern day villains, and the literacy techniques they use. These type of villains are most often talked and discussed, but not always heard until it is a major turning point. Like Voldemort in Harry Potter, and the Volturi in Twilight, to name major ones.
Like Benvolio is literally the theme peace, Tybalt is hate and rivalry. These qualities, or themes, or not shown as strongly as in any other characters, even Lord and Lady Montague/Capulet. He is so proud that he is the representation of the feud between the families. If, by some coincednce Romeo and Juliet died but Tybalt lived, the feud will still be continuing, because of his pride and pigheadness to see reason.
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