Act 3, scene 1
The color-coded boxes under "Analysis & Themes" below (which look like this: ) make it easy to track the themes throughout the work. Each color corresponds to one of the themes explained in the Themes section of this LitChart.
Analysis & Themes
The following day is boiling hot. Benvolio tells Mercutio they should get off the streets: the hot weather is bound to cause hot tempers. Just then, Tybalt enters with some other Capulets. Tybalt and Mercutio quickly start insulting each other and seem close to drawing swords. Benvolio tries to calm them.
Romeo appears. Tybalt calls Romeo a "villain," but Romeo refuses to duel, saying that he loves Tybalt, and that the name Capulet is as dear as his own.
Mercutio, furious that Romeo refuses to stand up for himself, challenges Tybalt. They draw their swords and begin to fight. Romeo steps between them to stop the fighting, but Tybalt stabs Mercutio under Romeo's arm. Tybalt and the Capulets rush off. Mercutio dies, cursing both Montagues and Capulets: "A plague o' both your houses" (3.1.86).
Romeo says to himself that love for Juliet has made him "effeminate." Tybalt returns. Romeo avenges Mercutio by fighting and killing Tybalt. As the Watch and Prince Escalus approach, Romeo flees.
More help on this section...
• See quotes from Act 3, scene 1