Act 3, Scene 1, in my opinion, is the pivot point in the play. This is the most important part in the play as before the scene there was hope for the two lovers. After this scene there is no hope and fate takes control. This fight scene shows Mercutio, Romeo’s friend, killed. Shakespeare’s Mercutio is a lively and entertaining character in the play, so for Mercutio to be killed is a very dramatic and shocking part of the play. Mercutio was a hero in the play so for Shakespeare to kill him off so early shows that Shakespeare felt that for the play to develop, something sensational had to happen, that being Mercutio and Tybalt’s death.
Mercutio, misguided about honour, challenges Tybalt to a fight after Romeo declines against Tybalt. Mercutio calls Romeo’s refusal to fight, ‘vile submission’ and ‘ dishonourable’. These are harsh words as Mercutio fights Tybalt and under Tybalt under Romeo’s arm thrust Mercutio in. Mercutio is slain, or killed, because of Romeo. Being the loveable, entertaining character he is, Mercutio makes jokes about how hurt he is, ‘ Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man’.
Though a darker side of the play is emerged as Mercutio, having been hurt, curses Montague’s and Capulet’s, ‘ A plague on both your houses ! ‘ Mercutio, a dying man, curses them three times, which gives the play a dark and ominous fate. Romeo, angry having heard about Mercutio’s death, kills Tybalt for revenge. This was a very angry, stupid and doomed death from Romeo. Had Romeo controlled his anger, things would have turned out very differently. His words, ‘ O, I am fortune’s fool ‘, are from after Romeo has killed Tybalt.
Romeo cries these words when the full impact of what he has just done, strikes him. This is a crucial part of the play as Romeo realises that he has killed Juliet’s cousin. Romeo thinks he is going to be executed, therefore the end of all happiness for him. Romeo, instead of blaming himself with his emotions and how Tybalt made him feel ashamed, he blames fortune. He was a man who was at the peak of happiness, but then fortune span her wheel and he has lost everything. Romeo also does not blame himself for the mistakes he has made.
His secret marriage to Juliet of the Capulet family, his own family’s sworn enemy, had earlier prevented him from accepting the challenge of a duel made by Tybalt. His secret marriage had also made him weak as he feels Tybalt being Juliet’s cousin should love and that he loves him. If Tybalt had not have killed Mercutio, Romeo would not have sought vengeance for his death and retaliating by killing Tybalt. If this did not happen, the Friar would not have had to conduct a plan involving Juliet and poison. Act 3, Scene 1 shapes the rest of the play so shows how dramatically significant it is.