That afternoon Benvolio and Mercutio run into Tybalt and some
of his men. Though Benvolio, remembering the Prince's edict, declines to duel,
Mercutio and Tybalt begin a joust of insults, with Mercutio's wit outdoing
the other's words. Just then, the newly-married Romeo appears, and Tybalt
demands that the "villain" fight. Romeo protests, "I never
injured thee, but love thee better than thou canst devise." Mercutio,
however, aches for a skirmish, and he and the equally hot-tempered Tybalt
draw their sabers. Romeo steps between the two, but Tybalt thrusts forward
and stabs Mercutio, then bolts away. As the dying Mercutio is carried off,
Romeo, torn with anger and mixed loyalties, confronts and kills Tybalt. Benvolio
then implores his cousin to hide in order to avoid revenge or arrest.
The Prince and a group of citizens come upon the bloody scene and call for
an explanation from Benvolio. Silencing arguments as to where the blame should
fall, the Prince declares, "I will be deaf to pleading and excuses. When
Romeo is found he shall be put to death."
Act Three, Scene Two
Juliet impatiently awaits the arrival of her husband, when her nurse comes
with the news: "Tybalt is gone, and ... Romeo that killed him, he is
banished." Distraught, Juliet sends the nurse off once again: "O,
find him! give this ring to my true knight."
Act Three, Scene Three
Romeo, hidden in the Friar's cell, has just been informed of a change of
heart by the Prince - rather than death, Romeo should only be exiled from
Verona. Then the nurse comes with news from Juliet: "She weeps and weeps."
The Friar advises Romeo to wait until nightfall and then go to his true love.
He also tells him to go to Mantua and stay there until it is safe to return
to Verona. Romeo agrees.
Act Three, Scene Four
Capulet is discussing with Paris Tybalt's death and explaining to him that
the news has shocked the whole house and that no one has thought of anything
Just as Paris is about to leave, Capulet suddenly announces that he has decided
not to wait for Juliet to make up her mind about Paris. He sets the date for
the forthcoming marriage and says that Juliet will follow his wishes.
Act Three, Scene Five
Shortly after Romeo leaves, Lady Capulet enters Juliet's chamber, believing
the girl had stayed secreted in mourning for Tybalt. She speaks of the murder
and the vengeance it demands. "But now," she announces at last,
"I'll tell thee joyful tidings, girl"; and she apprises her daughter
that she would soon be married to Paris. When Juliet balks at any such wedding,
her father flares up in anger: "I tell thee what - get thee to church
... or never after look me in the face."