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In the play

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In the play "Romeo and Juliet" is Mercutio's character just for comic relief or is there more to his role than that? In this essay I will be looking at Mercutio's character to see if the role he plays is comical or if there is another reason why he is in the play. Mercutio is the nephew of the prince and Romeo's best friend. I think that Mercutio does have a comical role in the play because of the jokes he makes and the way he acts with people, but there is evidence that suggests he has a serious side as well. You get a good example of Mercutio being comical in act1 scene 4, when Mercutio is out side Capulet's house trying to cheer up Romeo because of his love sickness. He goes on to tell Romeo about Queen Mab visiting him in his dreams and he explains who she is. He then shows a rude side as he starts teasing Romeo about sex. Then he starts getting angry with Romeo and says 'You are a lover' borrow cupids wings and sour with them above a common bound.' This shows a rude side to Mercutio. Another rude quote he says would be 'if love be rough with you, be rough with love: prick love for pricking and you beat love down.' ...read more.


When Benvolio tells Mercutio about the letter that Tybalt sent to romeo, Mercutio shows a sarcastic side, by saying "Any man that can write may answer a letter," he says it as if it is just a letter, not a letter challenging him to a duel. After this, Mercutio starts getting very comical and stops being serious when he starts talking about tybalt. He says "more than prince of cats. O, he's the courageous captain of complements." He then goes on to say more insulting things about Tybalt, but Romeo enters and Mercutio's attension is drawn to him now as he starts teasing him again. He says without his roe, like a dried herring. This means that Romeo has come without his girlfriend, like a fish with no water. They then start to battle each other with clever word play, which is comical. The nurse then enters to see Romeo. Mercutio teases the nurse with sexual words which are showing comedy such as the song he sings "an old hare hoar, and an old hare hoar,is very good meat in lent, but a hare that is hoar is too much for a score, when a hoars ere it be spent." He is saying that the nurse is a old prostitute that nobody wants and is not worth paying for. ...read more.


The most serious words that Mercutio says in the whole play is " A plague O, both your houses." But at the time everyone thinks that he is being comical. Even as he is about to die he is still trying to be comical, because he says "Ay Ay a scratch a scratch marry. 't is enough. Where is my page? Go villain fetch a surgeon." He is trying to get across that Tybalt is a cat and it is just a cat scratch. Another comical thing he says is " If you ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man" I think that Mercutio's role in the play is of great importance because everything leading up to his death was happy. After his death its just a chain of unfortunate incidents. Overall he is a very comical, rude and loud person. He also makes a lot of jokes about sex, I think Shakespeare put him in the play to entertain people before the tragedies began. He teases Romeo a lot about love and rosaline. He provokes Tybalt and doesn't really care about it. This shows an insolent side to him. There is sufficient evidence in my essay that shows how Mercutio can also be a serious person not just there for comical use. I think that he has been put in the play for a massive turn around after he dies. Damian O'Donnell 1 1 ...read more.

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