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Romeo and Juliet Coursework - Mercutio

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet Coursework Oliver Acland Mercutio Mercutio adds energy to the play yet ironically also hastens the tragedy with his impetuous actions. He has a vivid imagination and frolicsome personality with his name derived from the adjective 'mercurial'. This gives an excellent description of the young man's vibrant, quick-witted, volatile nature. His strong sense of humour often turns into bawdy innuendos; "open arse and thou a poperin pear," as he teases Romeo the romantic. Indeed Mercutio is used as a dramatic foil to Romeo's love loin "soul of lead." The death of this vivacious character suddenly creates a tragic, disconcerting impact on the story. His colourful imagination is seen from the powerful portrayal of Queen Mab, "the fairies' midwife." During his description of the "angry" "hag", the subject of dreams changes to match his own cynical view on life. ...read more.

Middle

His vibrance and boisterousness causes Romeo to say he has "dancing shoes with nimble souls" contrasting his own "soul of lead." Mercutio believes in himself and is willing to stand up for his rights; "I will not budge for no man's pleasure" and "By my heel, I care not." He is also sincere, able to admit when he is wrong and can take a laugh at himself, accepting that " True, I talk of dreams," after the Queen Mab speech. However, Mercutio is rash, impulsive and easily irritated; this leads to his duel with Tybalt after challenging him for "as word and a blow", even though Tybalt's quarrel was with Romeo. This hatred was brought on by Mercutio's displeasure at Tybalt's precise fighting style and way of speaking and Tybalt's innocuous remark that he chose to take as insulting him as a "minstrel." ...read more.

Conclusion

Upon reaching the Captulet's tomb in "fair Verona", on hearing of Juliet's death, Paris confronts Romeo about his presence. Romeo's warns Paris "not to tempt a desperate man" nevertheless Paris disregards the warning, starting a sword fight that determines his fate. In a moment of blind love, after Romeo laid Paris' slain body beside Juliet's, Romeo drinks his "dram of poison"; telling Juliet that forever with her he will "remain". Upon Juliet's awakening to see her lover's body, her intense love for Romeo causes her to take her own life. Not only does Mercutio's death turn this complex love story into a twisted tragedy, but also from this effervescent character's departure stems Romeo's revenge and banishment and indirectly the end of the lover's and their passionate "misadventure". Ironically it is the spontaneous nature of one man, Mercutio, and his loathing of Tybalt that seals the fate of the "two households" as well as "their children's end", rather that the antediluvian rancour the families share. ...read more.

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