Fencing 1500's and Beyond

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by BrandSizzle
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Fencing 1500's and Beyond

Shakespeare's description of the fighting/fencing indicate that Tybalt fought in the Spanish style. When we first meet Tybalt, in the opening scene, throughout the fight he does most of the cutting, while Benvolio did most of the thrusting. The cutting above the head suggests the Spanish school of fence, as mentioned in the manuals of the school's most famous masters, Jeronimo Sanchez de Carranza and Don Luys Pacheco de Narvaez. In the normal upright Spanish position the fencer aims most of his cuts (and thrusts) at the head of his foe, as Tybalt did to Benvolio. Mercutio also refrences the Spanish style when he says Tybalt is a dancer, (Mercutio's sword is a fiddlestick that will make Tybalt dance-III. i. 42-43) as the Spanish style was known to move around and circle more than other forms, thus "dancing."

Fencing MastersCamillo Agrippa 1590-1650Capo Ferro 1600Salvator Fabris 1544-1617George Silver 1560

Two of Shakespeare's most famous plays, Romeo and Juilet, and Hamlet both include sword fighting.


Romeo & Juilet


In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo, Tybalt, and Mercutio all use Elizabethan rapiers. In history the rapier was commonly used not only as a weapon but also as a fashion accessory. The early rapiers weren't the sleek and lightning fast Zorro type small swords most people think of. They were quite large and cumbersome. The rapiers were narrow, but quite long and fairly heavy, with the exteremly long length making them somewhat inconvenient.

Weapons In Combat

Tybalt's Fencing

Fencing Timeline

1300 A.D.-oldest surviving manual on swordsmanship1450 A.D.-fencing guilds appear in Europe1896 A.D.-fencing appears in the first olympics


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