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A Character Study on Tybalt and Mercutio, and as Director What Instructions I would give the Actors Taking on their Parts.

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Introduction

A Character Study on Tybalt and Mercutio, and as Director What Instructions I would give the Actors Taking on their Parts Rachel Smith Romeo and Juliet is a world famous play written by William Shakespeare. The tale is of two lovers suicide when their feuding families keep them apart. The families have been sworn enemies for generations they are wealthy, powerful and often violent. Some characters are quiet without much involvement, others the play revolves around, Tybalt and Mercutio are somewhere in the middle they do not greatly contribute to the main story line, however they form the base of it, even though they both are killed early on. They create the atmosphere and reality aspect in the story. The prologue sets the scene, briefly summarizing the story and emphasising the trouble in Verona. We are told of the feud between two credential families, the Montague's and the Capulet's, there have been three civil brawls caused by them, 'from ancient grudge beaks new mutiny' the city is in chaos. This makes the environment for Tybalt ideal, as he relishes fighting. Tybalt (A.K.A prince of cats) is a passionate swordsman. He was born to violent times in troubled Verona, therefore he lives and breathes fighting. He has known nothing but chaos throughout his life as he is a Capulet, sworn enemy to all Montague's and their companions (including Mercutio, Romeo's [Montague] best friend). Tybalt lives to the extreme, his mannerisms are eccentric and he repeatedly overreacts, he takes simple things out of context and always reacts violently as he knows nothing else. For example, in Act1 Scene1, as Benvolio seeks peace he cries 'what, art tho drawn amongst these heartless hinds? Turn thee Benvolio and look upon thy death.' This shows his willingness to kill without mercy, on the slightest pretence. Therefore considering first impressions, as director I would chose an actor to be Tybalt that has an Italian influence in his appearance, and accent. ...read more.

Middle

He would wear a varied array of clothes that are bright and unusual to correlate with his wild nature and his rapidly changing moods. They would be loose fitting, and casual yet expensive, as he is a nobleman. His appearance in my opinion is not as important as Tybalt's because his speech is what draws the audience's attention, not intimidation, or fear, although he still has power. I say this based on first impressions from Act1 Scene4, where they are outside the Capulet's mansion on the night of the party. Romeo is distraught from unrequited love and Mercutio and Benvolio are trying to cheer him. 'Nay gentle Romeo,' Mercutio teases him about his nature, tying to coax him out of his depression, but gentle is also a term of affection that he feels towards Romeo. Mercutio is always centre stage and never silent, I would make sure the actor is animated and enthusiastic as he talks with his whole body. Mercutio is concerned that Romeo is not having a good time so he tries to lift his spirits by telling him to 'beat love down'. Mercutio is never direct he often 'flirts' around the subject, as we discover immediately, he is passionate about what he is saying and has to have the last word. For example, Romeo is determined not to dance or have fun but just to wallow in his own self-pity but Mercutio does not give up easily, he believes love is purely physical, and cannot endure love for loves sake. He appears in my opinion to have no patients for it as he says ' save-your-reverence love, wherein thou sickest'. Mercutio makes many situations easier by punning. An example of how he manipulates what others say would be, when Romeo says love 'pricks like a thorn' Mercutio replies 'Prick love for pricking'. As director I would tell the actor taking on the role of Tybalt, to be in an energetic mood, more animated than usual (which must be a lot!), and ...read more.

Conclusion

Tybalt should fight elegantly as usual, but Romeo is so infuriated, that Tybalt did not see what was coming. His clothes tear and his blood lay next to his body on the floor. The spotlight should linger on the two lifeless bodies before the lighting becomes subdued once more. I conclude that, both characters are alike in many ways, they are both fearless, stubborn and cannot be controlled, they are unpredictable and deadly. They both perform for an audience however small, and have to be the centre of attention all the time. Whenever they are on stage they dominate the others. Although Mercutio did not physically fight every time he was on stage he still fought with words, whenever he was present he challenged someone to a 'duel' of wits, and insulted everyone. He is also eccentric like Tybalt, and is in love with language like Tybalt is with his sword. They are both the best at their 'occupations'; Tybalt is a sword smith, and Mercutio a wordsmith. However, Tybalt is straight to the point, unlike the fanciful Mercutio, their clothes also reflect this, as Tybalt wears black ordinary clothes whereas, Mercutio has an array of bright coloured clothes that are as varied as his moods. He says what he thinks like Mercutio, and does not care who he offends. Tybalt dominates the scene with his aggression, and Mercutio with his words, they excite the audience who hang on to their every action. Tybalt overreacts in every scene, however, as Mercutio is with Romeo, we do not get to see the most aggressive side of him till the death scene (although he still attacks with language). The main difference between them is that Mercutio is loyal to Romeo whereas Tybalt is loyal to no one but himself. In the role of director it is crucial, that I understand each of their characters in depth to give the right instructions to encourage the audience to form a correct interpretation of them. The directions I would give them are very similar due to them both being aggressive and powerful characters. 7 ...read more.

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