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Analyse the portrayal of the character of Mercutio as the vehicle of Shakespeare's tragic outcome in the play 'Romeo and Juliet'

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Analyse the portrayal of the character of Mercutio as the vehicle of Shakespeare's tragic outcome in the play 'Romeo and Juliet' Of all of Shakespeare's tragedies "Romeo and Juliet is perhaps the best known one, Shakespeare based much of his play on the reality of his time by managing to encompass much of his context in the play. This was the Elizabethan era, In the Elizabethan era it was very different in the way we live our lives today. In how there were different class structures and people were treated differently and judged differently depending on which class they fell in. There was religious and politic conflict. The religious conflict was where the hate between Christians, there were two main factions of the Christian, Protestants and The Catholics, Queen Elizabeth the 1st was the head of the Church of England (which the protestants followed) and anyone found out to be a Catholic or practising the Catholic faith would have to change to The Church of England. Mercutio is Romeos best friend. Mercutio is first introduced to us in Act 1, Scene 4. It is the scene preceding the ball. At this point, the audience are aware of Romeo's 'feelings' for Rosaline, there Mercutio's point view is easy to understand. In speaking to his friend, Mercutio reveals a wit and a strong sense of confidence in himself. ...read more.


Mercutio is upset that Romeo has not listened to a word that he said to him, Mercutio originally thinks that he must have gone home, listened to him a gotten over his infatuation, not only would this satisfy Mercutio's ego as the dominant male of the group, but it would have helped his best friend. Mercutio asks Benvolio what has Romeo drifted to, Benvolio tells Mercutio that he climbed over the Capulet wall. Mercutio is disappointed with him disappearing. Mercutio is elder, more experienced and is a brother figure, so he is disappointed with Romeo still keeping secrets, hiding and that he still has not got over his childish dreams and blind fantasies, but here is a use of a dramatic device where the audience know something that a character does not, this adds a hint of excitement and for the more intelligent ones of the audience a perspective or a look in at something bad that may happen. In the fight scene (Act 3, Scene 4) Benvolio's statement "I pray thee, good Mercutio, lets retire. The day is hot, the Capels are abroad and if we meet, we shall not scape a brawl, for now these hot days, is the mad blood stirring." (Act 3, Scene 1, Line 2-5) this Implies whenever the Capulets and the Montague's meet they cannot escape a fight and how Benvoilo (the peace keeper) ...read more.


The final time he is seen is at the fight scene where he is killed and calls the curse which creeps through the play right to the end where both Romeo and Juliet Commit suicide. The foolishness, pure stupidity and simple ignorance of the two houses leads to the death of a person who was neutral to the feud, did not agree with it and got caught up in the middle of it. The Prince banished Romeo which was a more like a punishment for Mercutio's death rather than Tybalts which put more guilt on Romeo and because Romeo and Juliet were apart they needed to create a plan, the plan failed which lead to both their deaths. Mercutio was the vehicle for the tragic outcome of the play. He influenced and impacted on key events by ironically appearing before key moments. He contributed to helping the play move by enforcing and encouraging Romeo to go to the ball where he inevitably met Juliet. If Mercutio was not in the play there would be no story because he drove the play to where it needed to be and where it went, ended up, but when he had gone this lead to Romeo and Juliet's deaths. Mercutio was one of the Main Characters if not Romeo and Juliet. He entertained the audience with his intelligent wit and sarcastic humour, Shakespeare uses him as the vehicle to show how someone innocent can die over a petty and meaningless feud. ...read more.

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