The Romeo who duels with Tybalt is the Romeo who Mercutio would call the “true” Romeo.
The Romeo who sought to avoid confrontation out of concern for his wife is the person Juliet would recognize as her loving Romeo.
Enraged, Romeo declares that his love for Juliet has made him effeminate, and that he should have fought Tybalt in Mercutio’s place.
When Tybalt, still angry, storms back onto the scene, Romeo draws his sword. Benvolio urges Romeo to run; a group of citizens outraged at the recurring street fights is approaching.
Mercutio’s response to his fate, however, is notable in the ways it diverges from Romeo’s response.
Romeo blames fate, or fortune, for what has happened to him. He seems to see people as the cause of his death, and gives no credit to any larger force.
Elizabethan society generally believed that a man too much in love lost his manliness.
Romeo clearly subscribes to that belief, as can be seen when he states that his love for Juliet had made him “effeminate.” Once again, however, this statement can be seen as a battle between the private world of love and the public world of honor, duty, and friendship.
Romeo, shocked at what has happened, cries “O, I am fortune’s fool! The Prince enters, accompanied by many citizens, and the Montagues and Capulets.
Benvolio tells the Prince the story of the brawl, emphasizing Romeo’s attempt to keep the peace, but Lady Capulet, Tybalt’s aunt, cries that Benvolio is lying to protect the Montagues. Prince Escalus chooses instead to exile Romeo from Verona.