Study Guide

Benvolio Montague in Romeo and Juliet

By William Shakespeare

Benvolio Montague

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Benvolio, whose name literally means "good will," is a classic nice guy: stuck playing the straight man to Mercutio and the non-romantic-idiot to Romeo, constantly telling everyone else to chill and stop fighting and "keep the peace" (1.1.69), and being asked to spy on his friends. What? That's right: Romeo's parents (his aunt and uncle) turn to him when their son is acting weird, and the Prince always asks him to explain what went down in the most recent street fight.