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Evaluate Shakespeares Presentation of Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

Evaluate Shakespeare's Presentation of Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet Mercutio's name derives from the adjective Mercurial which is also known as 'changeable' The variations of his name give a relevant insight into the complicated character of Mercutio. Other names such as Mercury - the Roman messenger God suggest the quick paced humour and witty character. All these many names speak a lot about his personality and big influence in Romeo and Juliet. Some of Mercutio's many contributions to the play are as a comic foil to Romeo, contrasting with Romeo's more softly spoken, humourless character or as guidance about love. Mercutio is first introduce in Act 1 Scene 4. "Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance." This immediately suggests his lively cheerful personality. Shakespeare introduces Mercutio at this point in time as a way to break up the tension of the previous happenings. "If love be rough with you, be rough with love." Shows his jovial, positive view towards anything. Another similar idea is when Mercutio says "Prick love for pricking." This portrays Mercutio as a joker and the use of puns 'pricks/prick' shows his quick witted comedy. Throughout the first scene Mercutio displays many different views of love. ...read more.

Middle

Each of these examples illustrates the important prediction of Mercutio. Shakespeare uses the complicated character of Mercutio to represent complex and contrasting views to things. Mercutio is appears again in Act 2 Scene 2 where he is used to play a very much different role. Shakespeare intends for Mercutio to be a likeable character and someone the audience can relate too with his appealing humour and vast knowledge. "Romeo! Humours! Madman! Passion! Lover!" This sentence showing key aspects in the plot give an insight into Romeo's character. It is used by Shakespeare to build up the tension for what is too come but also to give the audience and better insight into the character of Mercutio. This scene in Act 2 is one of Shakespeare most humorous and least tragic acts in the play. Shakespeare uses this to explore the positive, joyful, and romantic aspects of young love. Mercutio's wordplay in Act 2 is also very sexual, highlighting and opposing the true love of Romeo and Juliet. Words such as "An open-arse, thou a pop'rin pear!" Demonstrate Mercutio's view on Romeo's love for Rosaline. "If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark." Cross references back to Act 1 Scene 4 where Mercutio says "If love be rough...be rough with love." It shows his repeated references and advice towards Romeo. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows Mercutio's clever, thoughtful characteristics. This is again shown when he cries "A plague o'both your houses." This shows Mercutio as mature and understanding as he is able to work out the ongoing problem is the conflict between the two households. Shakespeare cleverly incorporates a last pun in Mercutio's dialogue. "...You shall find me a grave man." This gives the audience mixed feelings whether to think of it as 'serious' or 'dead' It is important as it shows Mercutio's fighting spirit and the fact that he does not want to share the burden by telling everyone he is injured, instead just dying. Overall Shakespeare portrays Mercutio as humorous and intelligent. One of the main reasons he is included in the play is for comedy and interesting views. However Shakespeare also uses him as a foil to many of his characters. His constant use of sexual punning adds complexity and interest to the dialogue whilst his mystical, magical inclination ties in with many relevant themes. On the whole he is a great influence to the play and Shakespeare even makes use with the death of Mercutio as a way to signify darker more sinister events to come. The death of Mercutio signifies the death of humour and Shakespeare uses this as a way to prefigure what is later to come. ?? ?? ?? ?? 26/06/2010 Daniel Ng 10s ...read more.

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