Tybalt, still looking to punish Romeo for his appearance at the Capulets’ party, runs into Mercutio and Benvolio. He provokes Mercutio into a duel, while Benvolio tries to stop the fighting. Romeo enters, and Tybalt calls him a villain. Romeo, having just married Juliet (who is Tybalt’s cousin), swears he’s not, but Tybalt challenges him to draw. Mercutio draws first, then Tybalt, and they eventually fall to fighting. Romeo tries to break it up, but Tybalt reaches under Romeo’s arm and fatally stabs Mercutio, who curses the Montagues and the Capulets for their continuing feud. A grieving Romeo fights Tybalt and kills him. Knowing that he’ll face death if he stays in Verona, Romeo flees. The Prince, the Capulets, and the Montagues arrive. Benvolio explains what happened, and Lady Capulet calls for Romeo’s death. The Montagues argue their son was merely defending himself against an instigating Tybalt. The Prince strikes a compromise, saying that he’ll spare Romeo’s life, but that he must leave Verona forever.
Character Interview: Mercutio & Benvolio