|Creator William Shakespeare|
Play Romeo and Juliet
|Created by William Shakespeare|
|Family Montague (cousin of Romeo)|
Movies Romeo + Juliet, Romeo and Juliet, Private Romeo, Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish, Romeo & Juliet vs. the Living Dead
Played by Kodi Smit‑McPhee, Dash Mihok, Bruce Robinson, Jack Farthing, Conrad Kemp
Similar Mercutio, Tybalt, Friar Laurence, Capulet, Romeo
Benvolio is a fictional character in Shakespeare's drama Romeo and Juliet. He is Montague's nephew and Romeo's cousin. Benvolio serves as an unsuccessful peacemaker in the play, attempting to prevent violence between the Capulet and Montague families.
Benvolio talks with Romeo (Zeffirelli)
Role in the play
Benvolio is Lord Montague's nephew and Romeo's cousin. He is usually portrayed by Shakespeare as a kind and thoughtful person who attempts to look out for his cousin.
Benvolio tries to lessen Romeo's sentence after attempting to prevent the duels that end in Mercutio and Tybalt's death, leaving Romeo only with a banishment and not a death sentence.
Benvolio spends most of Act I attempting to distract his cousin from his infatuation with Rosaline but following the first appearance of Mercutio in I.iv, he and Mercutio become more closely aligned until III.i. In that scene, he drags the fatally wounded Mercutio offstage, before returning to inform Romeo of Mercutio's death and the Prince of the course of Tybalt and Mercutio's deaths. Benvolio then disappears from the play (though, as a Montague, he may implicitly be included in the stage direction in the final scene "Enter Lord Montague and others", and he is sometimes doubled with Balthasar).
Part of Benvolio's role is encouraging Romeo to go to the party, where he falls in love with Juliet.
A mock-Victorian revisionist version of Romeo and Juliet's final scene (with a happy ending, Romeo, Juliet, Mercutio and Paris restored to life, and Benvolio revealing that he is Paris's love, Benvolia, in disguise) forms part of the 1980 stage-play The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. He also attempts to romance Rosaline in Sharman Macdonald's After Juliet.