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Explain the ways in which Mercutio's role contributes to the comic and tragic elements of the play - Shakespeare wrote 'Romeo and Juliet' was written in about 1595 or 1596 and it was about his nineteenth play.

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Introduction

Explain the ways in which Mercutio's role contributes to the comic and tragic elements of the play Shakespeare wrote 'Romeo and Juliet' was written in about 1595 or 1596 and it was about his nineteenth play. Romeo and Juliet was a bit of an experiment for a number of reasons, it was the first time Shakespeare was not using a story drawn from ancient classical history, he had decided to use fiction instead. He had got the idea from a long poem called "The Tragical History of Romeous and Juliet," Shakespeare had got most of the ideas from the poem, but he had expanded and developed certain parts with the Elizabethan audiences in mind as they enjoyed the puns and dirty jokes. This was also the first time Shakespeare had experimented by having both tragic and comic elements to the play. The Elizabethan audiences enjoyed this because, the comic elements were rude, and funny and made them laugh; yet there was also the seriousness of the tragic elements as it was sad, but it used good dramatic skills. The Elizabethan audiences often went out to the theatre, as it was one of the only forms of entertainment. The performances were held in the afternoon. There were a lot of budding playwrights in those times so the plays really did have to be good to get onto the stage. ...read more.

Middle

He is the first to see that Romeo is deeply in love. In Act two Scene one Mercutio is teasing a hidden Romeo, who can hear everything that is being said. Mercutio's fondness for sexual jokes in this scene is now fully established, this scene adds to the comic elements of the play. Mercutio calls by saying, "Romeo! Humors! Madman! Passion! Lover!" He then says, "My invocation is fair and honest, in his mistress' name...." Mercutio shows his concern and expresses it to Romeo. Mercutio tries to convince Romeo that his love for Rosaline will only cause problems and in the end, things will not work out. Romeo dismisses Mercutio as "A gentleman, that loves to hear himself talk and will speak more in a minute than he will stand to in a month." Romeo does not heed the warnings of his good friend. Act 2 Scene four Mercutio is asking Benvolio where Romeo is at the beginning of the scene, when he finds out that Romeo hasn't been home, he calls Rosaline a pale hard-hearted wench and says that Rosaline torments Romeo, and that Romeo will sure run mad. Mercutio doesn't know that Romeo has already secretly married Juliet. Mercutio says, "alas poor Romeo, he is already dead, stabb'd with a white wench's black eye...." ...read more.

Conclusion

But there were many unfortunate happenings that led up to their death. Fate was not on their side. First of all, Romeo only met Juliet by chance. Only because the Capulet servant was blind and unable to read the list of guests, Romeo was allowed into the ball. By unfortunate chance, Romeo and Juliet fell in love before they realized that they were from opposing families. After Romeo and Juliet's marriage, Romeo did not want to fight Tybalt. But because Tybalt killed Mercutio, Romeo demanded revenge. Things still might have worked out between the two lovers. After enough time passed, Romeo and Juliet could tell their families what happened and Romeo could return to Verona. But, Juliet's parents want her to marry Paris. The Friar concocts another plan. He gives Juliet a drug that will make her appear dead for 42 hours. However, fate is not on their side again. The letter sent by the Friar never reaches Romeo because of quarantine. The Friar arrives too late to stop Romeo from killing himself. Juliet awakes only minutes after Romeo has died. The list is long, illustrating the power of fate in the case of Romeo and Juliet. Mercutio's character is essential in driving the action forward in this play. He foreshadows the devastating events, serves as Romeo's friend, and gives the audience important information throughout the play. Mercutio's death is a turning point in the play. For all these reasons, Mercutio is essential to the play. ...read more.

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