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Analyse the dramatic function of Mercutio in "Romeo and Juliet" with appropriate reference to social context, theme, character, setting and audience.

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Introduction

Analyse the dramatic function of Mercutio in "Romeo and Juliet" with appropriate reference to social context, theme, character, setting and audience. "Romeo and Juliet" was based on a narrative poem by Arthur Brooke. Shakespeare made the poem much more dramatic by making the events happen in five days rather than three months like the poem The play is based on two "star-cross'd lovers" who fall in love, then take their lives. Mercutio appears to be a minor character as he only performs in four scenes. Until the death of Mercutio "Romeo and Juliet" could have been a comedy, however, after Mercutio's death, the play changes its pace and much darker in its themes and concerns. The Elizabethan audience would have had a different opinion on the play than we have today. The Elizabethan males would have found Mercutio very funny as they believed they were superior to females and would have agreed with Mercutio's bawdy sense of humour. We today find it funny and offensive as males and females have an equal place in today's society. Shakespeare's theatre company was called the Chamberlain's Men and had twelve leading actors. ...read more.

Middle

Although many scenes in Act 2 have a comic tone, the mood of the play quickly shifts in Act 3. At first the audience are indulging in tender love scenes between "Romeo and Juliet", then next their plunged back into the violence of the street brawl. Act 3 sc I is the fight scene. This shows off more of Mercutio's darker character. The weather at the beginning is oppressively hot and tempers are short. Benvolio even says if they meet the Capulets "they will not escape a brawl." Right from the beginning Mercutio is spoiling for a fight, even manages to argue with the peace making Benvolio. Further excitement is built up by Romeo's refusal to fight Tybalt. Tybalt tries to manipulate him by calling him "a villain" and "a boy", but this does not push Romeo. Romeo keeps his cool as he is now married to Juliet, Tybalt's cousin. The fight its self is exciting as Mercutio is fighting to defend Romeo's honour. Romeo stops the fight but everything escalates out of control. The drama continues with Mercutio's death and the puns he made beforehand: "Ask for me tomorrow and you will find me a grave man." ...read more.

Conclusion

is him saying it's the ancient grudge fault he's dying and if they sorted out the family feud then it would not have come to his death. "Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man." Is Mercutio's way of telling everyone he's dying! But because of his mercurial side they don't believe him and think that he is joking. Mercutio's death leaves the Montagues and Capulets mourning as, his death leads to the death of "Romeo and Juliet". At first I thought Mercutio's death had a big impact on Romeo and Juliet's deaths. Now I have read and studied the play I come to believe that it was "the ancient grudge" that caused all the deaths in the play. Mercutio's death leaded to Romeo killing Tybalt, Romeo being banished, Romeo thinking Juliet was dead, Romeo killing himself at Juliet's side with her just coming round, then Juliet killing herself. If the families had left "the ancient grudge" in the past, it would never have been able to cause such grief. It must have been a stupid falling out between the families as neither family can remember what it is about! It has tragically separated each family from their child, The Capulets from the pretty, rather intelligent young lady Juliet, and the Montagues from the handsome rather soft and loving Romeo. ...read more.

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