Romeo & Juliet Act 3 Questions

Instructor: Wendy A. Garland

Wendy has a Ph.D. in Adult Education and a Master's Degree in Business Management. She has 10 years experience working in higher education.

This lesson will include important discussion and study question from Act 3 of William Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet,' which will be divided by theme. Some of the more complex and important question will also include a brief expansion and explanation, in order to better aid in discussions.


In Act 3 of Romeo and Juliet, the consequences of the events of the previous Acts begin to rear their ugly heads. Romeo unwillingly becomes involved in a fight with sad results, which further complicates everything.

The Fight

  • Early in Scene 1, what causes Benvolio to think there will be unrest and fighting very soon?
  • What does Mercutio accuse Benvolio of having?
  • What does Benvolio try to have Tybalt and Mercutio do when they begin arguing? Why?

Despite his supposed quick temper, Benvolio tries to play peacekeeper, and asks Tybalt and Mercutio to stop fighting. Having failed, however, he tells them to at least fight in private, so their public fight would not upset the Prince, who has declared a severe punishment if he finds Capulet and Montague fighting.

  • What does Tybalt call Romeo? Why won't Romeo fight him, despite what Tybalt calls him?

Tybalt calls Romeo a villain, an insult which likely carried more weight in the 16th century than today. However, despite this name calling, Romeo refuses to fight Tybalt, because he belongs to the house of Capulet, same as Juliet, whom Romeo loves. Why is it important to show restraint when egged on by someone? Is it always recommended?

  • What does Romeo's refusal to fight Tybalt make Mercutio think of him?

The Death

  • As Mercutio dies, he repeatedly curses both the Capulet and Montague houses. Why?

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