Is Romeo Montague Guilty?

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VERONA-Mercutio, Prince Escalus’s cousin was killed by Tybalt Capulet during a duel fight at the town square at about noon yesterday. According to Benvolio Montague (Romeo Montague’s cousin), him and Mercutio were walking in the town square. Tybalt came with a group of cronies and asked to speak with one of them. Mercutio was annoyed he began to provoke him. Then, Romeo came in and tried to stop the fight. “Romeo he cries aloud, “Hold, friends! Friends, part!” and swifter than his tongue”, said Benvolio. Tybalt turned his attention from Mercutio to Romeo and called him a villain. Romeo refused to be angered by his verbal attack. Tybalt commanded Romeo to draw his sword. However, Romeo did not wish to fight him and he put aside his sword. Then, Mercutio angrily drew his sword and said if Romeo would not fight Tybalt, he would. Mercutio and Tybalt began to fight. Romeo, attempting to keep the peace, threw himself between them. Tybalt stabbed Mercutio under Romeo’s arm. And as Mercutio fell, Tybalt and his men ran away. “A plague o’ both your houses! They have made worm’s meat of me. I have it, and soundly too. Your houses!” cursed Mercutio as he died. According to Benvolio, enraged Romeo said that he should have fought Tybalt in Mercutio’s place. When Tybalt, still angry, stormed back, Romeo drew his sword. They fought and Romeo killed Tybalt. As the outraged citizens approached Romeo fled away. “It was the most dreadful fight between the Montagues and Capulets”, stated a citizen of Verona. Many citizens were shocked that Romeo, a virtuous and well governed youth would kill a man. Prince Escalus entered, accompanied by many citizens, and the Montagues and Capulets. Benvolio told the Prince the story of the fight, emphasizing Romeo’s attempt to keep the peace. “He is a kinsman to the Montague. Affection makes him false; he speaks not true. Some twenty

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