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It has been claimed that Shakespeare had to ‘kill off’ Mercutio before he tookover the play of Romeo and Juliet - To what extent do you agree with this statement?

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Introduction

It has been claimed that Shakespeare had to 'kill off' Mercutio before he took over the play of Romeo and Juliet. To what extent do you agree with this statement? Mercutio is one of the plays funniest characters that always has something to say or to joke about. Right from where we first start to get to know Mercutio we can see that he is a humorous character, constantly talking and joking, mostly about sex. At the beginning of the play we meet Mercutio at a party held at the Capulet's house. We immediately see that he is sick of Romeo acting in a lovesick manner towards Rosaline and basically tells him to forget about her and go and have sex, "If love be rough with you, be rough with love: Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down." ...read more.

Middle

Mercutio uses a lot of puns and paradoxes in his speaking but that occurs in most of the characters in Shakespear, he is lively and is not afraid to speak his mind. When they meet the maid he openly calls her a hoar and ugly. When she asks for her fan he says: "Good Peter, to hide her face, for her fan's the fairer face." Even when he is dieing Mercutio stays witty and it's not until to late that we realise he is really dieing. He jokes about it saying, " Ask for me to-morrow and you shall find me a grave man" and " They have made worms' meat of me." Using puns to cover up the seriousness of his situation. Although Mercutio is rude sometimes he has what most of the other characters have not, he has a good sense of humour mixed with fun loving characteristics but at the same time could be caring. ...read more.

Conclusion

" A plague o' both your houses!" I think this part was added because in those days they were very superstitious and believed in curses and bad luck. With putting the curse on the families he dooms them to pay with something or someone that they both love, Romeo and Juliet. If Mercutio had not been killed that would not have been said and maybe Romeo and Juliet may not have died. I think that he died to show everyone that the fighting between the two families had gone on long enough and if he couldn't teach them from earth he would teach them from the grave. If Mercutio did not die the jokes and laugher would have lived on but it would have only prevented the characters from seeing the seriousness of their situations and the consciences of their actions. ...read more.

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