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Explore the significance of the character Mercutio in the play Romeo and Juliet.

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Introduction

Explore the significance of the character Mercutio in the play Romeo and Juliet. Although Shakespeare's play 'Romeo and Juliet' does not focus on Mercutio, he is one of the most unique characters of the play. He manages to manipulate other characters of the play through his imaginative and powerful language. He usually takes the lead in conversations and his friends generally go by what he says. Mercutio is neither Capulet nor Montague but his strong bond with Romeo associates him with the Montagues. In the play, Mercutio tends to stand out compared to the other characters; this is mainly because of his energetic and outrageous personality. His comical character lightens the mood of the tragic love story and helps to increase the sympathy of the audience when he later dies. Mercutio is a catalyst, meaning that he has the ability to change what people think or do. An example of this is in Act 1 Scene 4, where Romeo is sad and doesn't want to go to the Capulet's ball but Mercutio lightens the mood with puns and word play; "You are a lover; borrow Cupid's wings" An ...read more.

Middle

In Act 1 Scene 4, Mercutio's imagination runs wild as he is describing women as Queen Mab. This will begin to show the audience Mercutio's true feelings for women. He uses passionate language such as; "Tickling a parson's nose as a' lies asleep, Then dreams, he of another benefice" On the other hand, Romeo has a different view to that of Mercutio's towards women. Romeo, who is quite na�ve towards love, shows the audience how much he loves everyone and everything. He is always talking about how fabulous love is and that it is the only thing that matters in the world. "O, speak again, bright angel! For thou art As glorious to this night, being o'er my head" This can show that Romeo may not have been in a real relationship, but only fantasising about it. Mercutio and Romeo have a strong friendship; they are both extremely loyal to each other and tend to help each other out; "Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance." They both have a strong influence on each other, which from Mercutio's side tends to be positive but can sometimes turn out negative but this does not happen all the time. ...read more.

Conclusion

During Act 2 Scene 4, Mercutio and the Nurse meet. In much the same way as with Rosaline, Mercutio is again vulgar about the nurse; "Good Peter, to hide her face; for her fan's the fairer face." The repetition of the letter 'F' emphasizes a harsh tone and suggests to the audience a feeling of disgust towards the nurse. Mercutio is saying that the nurse is unattractive, but she does not let this pass as she is aggressive and says; "Out upon you! What a man are you!" This shows the Nurses mutual disliking for Mercutio as well. In Act 2, Scene 4, Mercutio compliments Tybalt's skills as a fighter; he calls him "Prince of Cats". This is because Mercutio thinks that Tybalt is quick on his feet and a fast swordsman, Tybalt wins all of his duels, Mercutio says that he has "nine lives" for this reason. "Don't think he's just the Prince of Cats! Oh no - he's way more than that." Although Mercutio is saying how much of a good swordsman Tybalt is, he still ends up fighting him and ironically Mercutio loses, he does this because he is a show off and he thinks he is best. ...read more.

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