Death as a Major Player in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

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Death as a Major Player

Death plays a key role in Romeo and Juliet. During the story, six deaths occur that fashion Shakespeare’s publication into the calamity that’s known around the world. Each death pushes the story forward continuously, leading to the finale where the two lovers die due to love and hate from both feuding families.
Mercutio, the joker and comic relief of the play, dies first and foremost. Tybalt spies Romeo at Lord Capulet’s extravaganza and vows to continue his fighting match by saying:
“I will withdraw; but this intrusion shall,
Now seeming sweet, convert to bitt’rest gall” (I, V, 93-95)
Determined to duel with Romeo, in Act Three, Scene 1, he challenges the Montague but Romeo declines fighting with his brother-in-law, saying:
“I do protest I never injured thee,
But love thee better than thou canst devise” (III, 1,67-68),
His statement means he doesn’t want to cause Tybalt any harm but would rather leave the scene. Mercutio steps in for Romeo, Romeo comes between them, and Tybalt’s sword stabs Mercutio when Romeo was holding Mercutio back. As Mercutio lays wounded and waiting for a surgeon, he blames Romeo for his injury saying,
“Why the devil came you between us? I was hurt under your arm.” (III, I, 103-105)
Soon following, Romeo learns that Mercutio is dead by Benvolio who says:
“O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio is dead!
That gallant spirit haths aspired the clouds,
Which too untimely here did scorn the earth.” (III, I, 118 – 120)
Romeo, enraged at the killing of one of his dearest friends, challenges Tybalt to a fight for revenge, saying:
“Now Tybalt, take the ‘villain’ back again
That late thou gavest me; for Mercutio’s soul
Is but a little way above our heads,
Staying for thine to keep him company.
Either thou or I, or both, must go with him.” (III, I, 127 – 131)
Tybalt takes up the challenge and the Capulet falls to the ground, dead by Romeo’s sword. Benvolio tells everyone including the Prince what has happened later saying:
“There lies the man, (Tybalt) slain by young Romeo,
That slew thy kinsman, brave Mercutio.” (III, I, 146 – 147)
With Romeo banished and Juliet acting as if she was dead in the Capulet family tomb, Paris comes to her grave to mourn the loss of his fiancee. On the path of the family tomb, he spots a torch and puts his own out to listen the stranger, saying:

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