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'Romeo and Juliet' - Discuss The Importance of Mercutio to the Play.

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Introduction

'Romeo and Juliet' Discuss The Importance of Mercutio to the Play Mercutio is a vital asset to the play for several different reasons and he contributes considerably to the play. Mercutio is an entertaining, lively but deep character and the audience love to see him on stage because he lightens up the tension of the play. The play itself is a tragedy because it ends unhappily but is split into two sections of tragedy and comedy. Mercutio contributes tremendously to the comedy aspect of the play that is really important so that the tragedy side of the play will be extenuated. The Elizabethan audience gets to know Mercutio because he is Romeo's best friend. Mercutio is supportive of Romeo because he tries to make Romeo happy. For example when Romeo was depressed because of Rosalind, Mercutio made a complimentary comment to make Romeo happy. Mercutio says, 'You are a lover: borrow Cupid's wings.' So therefore Mercutio is important to the play because he adds joyfulness to the depressing aspects of the play. This is also suggested because Mercutio tells Romeo to come to a party with him and says, 'Nay gentle Romeo, we must have you dance.' This type of behaviour by Mercutio would seem appealing to the audience because it is enjoyable to see a character that is so exuberant. Mercutio is important to the play because he was the main reason why Romeo and Juliet met, because it was he who persuaded Romeo to go to the party. ...read more.

Middle

As soon as the matter of love comes into context Mercutio talks crudely about it. Examples of Mercutio talking like this is when he says, 'And the demesnes that there adjacent lie' 'Till she had laid it, and conjured it down'. Mercutio uses a lot of sexual imagery when he talks about women and he uses nature to describe women's genital. An example of this is when Mercutio talks about 'Medlar's apples'. Mercutio wants Romeo's woman to have 'Medar's apples' and so he says 'O that she were an open-arse and thou a Poperin pear.' At this stage Mercutio does not know that Romeo has met Juliet and is romantically in love with her and the fact that his love is pure because he calls Juliet a 'winged messenger' 'dear saint'. The language that is used between Romeo and Juliet includes a lot of religious imagery and Mercutio on the other hand uses sexual imagery to describe the woman he wants Romeo to be with. Also, when Mercutio talks about sex, the audience enjoy it because on stage Mercutio could have possibly described some crude points by actions. An example of this is when Mercutio talks about his 'tail' which is sexually suggested, he could have done some crude actions to show the audience what he meant. Mercutio's crude idea of sex is more appealing to watch, than to watch scenes about romantic love all the time. ...read more.

Conclusion

This behaviour adds more excitement to the play. At the time of Mercutio's death, Benvolio and Romeo ask him if he is fine, in reply to this Mercutio says, 'Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch', this is a pun because Mercutio calls Tybalt the 'King of Cats' and he is only 'scratched' by him, suggesting that he is hurt by Tybalt. The audience are shocked to see that Mercutio is hurt because he is such an entertaining character. He puns several times on this occasion as well, for example he says the wound is, 'T' is not so deep as well, nor so wide as a church door, but 't is enough, 't will serve. Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man'. Mercutio's death is marker of where the comical side of the play ends and the tragedy begins because after his death, Tybalt dies then finally Romeo and Juliet die. The audience are able to pay more attention and concentrate more on the tragedy of the play due to all the jesting that Mercutio adds to the play. The comedy of the play dies with Mercutio; this is because even the Nurse, who runs parallel to Mercutio because they both add humour to the play, becomes serious because she tells Juliet to marry Paris. Shakespeare probably took Mercutio off because he became too important to the play and was taking the attention off Romeo and Juliet because the audience were immensely amused by his performance. Hudha Waraich 10Q Miss. Shepheard ...read more.

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