English 1 – 4th
16 January 2014 Dialectical Journal Romeo and Juliet
“Capulet: Why how now, kinsman, wherefore storm you so?
Tybalt: Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe:/A villain that is hither come in spite/to scorn at our solemnity this night”(1.5.58-61).
Tybalt is a Capulet who has just seen Romeo’s face, a Montague and is already asking for his sword.
This is an excellent example of Tybalt’s violent character. He is violent, and he hates the Montagues in a stereotypical manner. Tybalt hastily assumes in a single-minded approach that Romeo must be attending solely to mess up the party, without any provocation whatsoever. The first thing he thinks of doing to try and ‘fix’ this is to start a fight in the middle of the party (as he calls for his sword). This ties into the themes of both Hastiness because he did not consider more rational methods of making Romeo leave, and Selfishness, because he did not stop to consider the effect his brawl would have on the party. It would disrupt the party just as effectively as anything Romeo could have been planning, and that it would be inappropriate behavior for any party.
“I fear too early for my mind misgives/Some consequence yet hanging in the stars/Shall bitterly begin his fearful date/With this night’s revels, and expire the term/Of a despised life closed in my breast/By some vile forfeit of untimely death./But he that hath the steerage of my course/Direct my suit. On, lusty gentlemen”(1.4.106-113).
Romeo is worried about going to the Capulet’s party, as he feels that something bad is going to happen.
The quote marks the first major use of the motif of fate, as he describes his misgiving in those terms (“yet hanging in the stars”). I define fate in this analysis of Romeo and Juliet as 1. ‘something that affects a character that they had no control over that was not deliberately instigated by another character with regards to the original.’ In shorter (but less precise) terms, something that happens out of pure bad luck. Or, 2. The traditional version of fate; the unalterable course of one’s life. Which definition I am using should be evident through context. In the entire play, I consider this the second greatest example of fate’s influence (right behind Juliet waking up right after Romeo killed himself). From Romeo and Juliet’s perspective, it was merely bad luck that Lord Capulet through a party that night and that both of them ended up going.
This quote is also notable for Romeo’s willingness to let God “Direct my suit,” which means “decide my course.” It is the only time in the entire book that he deliberately allows fate to lead him; perhaps he learned something from the outcome(by which I mean his shock over falling in love with a Capulet)? It seems doubtful, given his personality.
“Romeo: Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace./Thou talk’st of nothing.
Mercutio: True, I talk of dreams,/Which are the children of an idle brain,/Begot of nothing but vain fantasy,/Which is as thin…