The Angel called Benvolio

By Molly H.

The character Benvolio from the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare shows he is a peacemaker and protects those he loves. Not only this but he’s a trustworthy friend towards the Montague family. Benvolio is represented as an angel in the play. As an angel symbolises all of Benvolio’s personality traits.

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Benvolio plays the peacemaker, trying or attempting to make sure there is no conflict between the two families even though he is a Montague he wants everyone to be equal and mutual, much like an angel guiding everyone with good advice. This trait of Benvolio is shown in the first act and scene of Romeo and Juliet as he tries to stop a possible fight between two Capulet servants and two Montague's servants. This is because in the play he states “Part fools! Put up your swords; you know not what you do”(1,1,55). In this quote spoken by Benvolio we can see he attempts to talk sense into the servants, trying to prevent a fight between them. He states that they don’t know what their doing, and they’re having a pointless argument. However he does draw his sword which then makes Tybalt and him fight as it causes tension with Tybalt questions Benvolio’s actions of peace. Another example of him being a peacekeeper would be when he tries to prevent another fight but this time between Mercutio and Tybalt. He states “The day is hot, the Capulets abroad, And, if we meet, we shall not scape a brawl”(3,1,4). This quote means that the Capulet's are around them and that if they interact they will most likely cause a fight. Much like an angel Benvolio tries to avoid conflict and tries to guide those he cares about to peace. So Benvolio shows he wants to stay out of the Capulet's way just in case a fight was too start which does and eventually leads to the death of Tybalt and Mercutio. This shows that though he is a peacemaker, he most of the time does not succeed in his mission to keep the mutual feeling between the two families. Throughout the whole play Benvolio’s character is portrayed as this innocent, trusting, peaceful person.

Benvolio has many traits, such as how protective he is of those he cares about. For example: while talking to Romeo and Mercutio, they are acting quite arrogant and joking about Juliet and her nurse. However Benvolio tries to stop them before they say too much. In the play he says: “Thou wouldst else have made thy tale large”(2,4,45). In this quote by Benvolio he says that Mercutio is being too immature and childish as he is joking about Romeo’s love to Juliet. He is being a good friend and caring about Romeo, Benvolio tells Mercutio to stop, in other words he protects Romeo and always has his back in the right situations. So this shows he wants to protect those he loves like an angel. Another pure trait Benvolio has is how he constantly is a counselor towards Romeo, giving him love advice.One major example of this would be when Romeo is heartbroken by Rosaline so Benvolio tries to cheer him up and give him some guidance. In the he says “Alas, that love, so gentle in his view,Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof!”(1,1,160). In this quote he is saying, that love is a sad thing, and is rough when you experience it, meaning that it’s not the end of the world after one heartbreak, that there are other women out there for Romeo and that he shouldn’t worry. So therefore Benvolio, being Romeo’s cousin and friend gives him love advice and tries to comfort him. Like an angel he wants to comfort and make his friends happy.

Lastly Benvolio is a trustworthy character, like an angel he is given secrets and witnesses conflict, and being a dependable asset to the Montague's, he gives truthful evidence of evidence. A good example of this would be when there was a brawl between two servants from both of the families, and he reports back to Lady Montague. In the play he says “Here were the servants of your adversary,And yours, close fighting ere I did approach.”(1,1,100). This means that Lady Montague’s servants were fighting with the enemy, and how he tried to stop it escalating. As you can see Benvolio hasn’t changed the actions of the servants as he is a truthful and reliable. This gives a clear aspect the symbolises why he is portrayed as an angel as his character is so pure and honest. Another example of this would be when the brawl between Romeo, Tybalt and Mercutio occurred, he was asked by the Prince what had happened and who’s fault it was. He responded truthfully and even though it did get his cousin/friend banished, he was doing the right thing. In the play he says to the Prince “Tybalt here slain, whom Romeo’s hand did slay. Romeo, that spoke him fair, bade him bethink”(3,1,115). So although he is getting Romeo in trouble and therefore leading him to his death, as Juliet pretends to kill herself but fakes it. However Romeo does not know of this plan so buys poison to kill himself. So even though Benvolio was doing the right thing he eventually lead to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Yet he still symbolises an angel, as he speaks the honest truth to the Prince, like an angel reporting back to heaven or god.

So in conclusion Benvolio symbolises an angel as he is a very pure and authentic character who does the right thing. Although it may hurt those he cares about most, showing that he is trusted and honest throughout the whole play. Finally we can tell that Benvolio wants nothing more than peace in Verona.