• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What use does Shakespeare make of the character of Mercutio in the play Romeo and Juliet.(TM)

Extracts from this document...


Romeo and Juliet Coursework 'Mercutio' What use does Shakespeare make of the character of Mercutio in the play 'Romeo and Juliet?' The Playwright William Shakespeare uses a variety of skills such as language, structure, as well as plot and character development in order to display the different themes and messages in the tragedy Romeo and Juliet. The character of Mercutio is significant as Shakespeare uses him as tool to enrich the play and to add humour, as well as a device to lead to development of plot and to appeal to the audience. The character of Mercutio is flavoursome, as he adds a comedic dimension to one of Shakespeare's most famous tragedies. The character of Mercutio is presented as boisterous, reckless and free spirited; as well as flamboyant. He is the joker of the play, as his gags and puns are constant throughout his scenes. Mercutio is associated with this use of the 'double entendre', or puns with more than one meaning, which in his case were often smutty and sexual. There are several examples of this is when he tries to console Romeo about his unrequited love for Rosaline in scene 4, Act 1. ...read more.


His speech on Queen Mab in Act 1, Scene 4 is loaded with imagery and symbolisms. Queen Mab is a fairy who rides around on her carriage in the night, putting dreams in sleepers. It starts of, first of all like a flight of fancy. The speech is very imaginative and goes into intricate details, like the fact that her "chariot was an empty hazel nut shell" with spokes "made of long spinners' legs" which was driven by a "small grey-coated gnat." As Mercutio continues his speech, he becomes more engaged in it, going into more detail, and talking of dreams. Towards the end of his speech bitter undertones are cast at which point Romeo stops him, and calms him down. For example, Mercutio describes in great detail how Queen Mab travels over the minds of those lost in sleep. Mercutio says " she gallops...through lovers brains and then they dream of love....' This conveys the image of Queen Mab being charming and enchanting and a bringer of good dreams. Mercutio, further describes how Queen Mab travels "O'er ladies lips, who straight on kisses dream.'' This quotation has connotations of love and romance, thus linking Queen Mab to love and romance. ...read more.


This knowledge, could have spared Mercutio his life, and not led to the banishment of Romeo and his and Juliet's ultimate death. This makes Mercutio's death more moving. His death, halfway through the play, ensures that he is also used as a plot device, to trigger the murder of Tybalt, by Romeo and creating a further knock on effect, leading to the eventual deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Mercutio also adds the element of entertainment and laughter to the play, making it enjoyable for the audience. To conclude, If we examine Shakespeare's play of 'Romeo and Juliet', we notice that the character of Mercutio in the play holds many uses. Mercutio is primarily regarded and the comedic role, he entertains the audience and is a relatable character. Mercutio is also character who creates a dynamic with the main character Romeo, and enables us to explore his relationship with him, away from Juliet. Mercutio is also a clear plot device, and his influence in Romeo's life lead to the meeting between him and Juliet; adversely, in the same way his death can be seen as the trigger that lead to the death of the 'Star crossed lovers.' Overall, it clear that Mercutio is an overall enrischment to the play of 'Romeo and Juliet.' ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Romeo and Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Explore the dramatic presentation of love in Romeo and Juliet(TM)

    4 star(s)

    dagger says "O happy dagger/...This is thy sheath/there rust and let me die". The dagger can here be a sort of phallus of Romeo with Juliet being its sheath in death, a strong sexual symbol. At the beginning of the play we see Romeo in love with Rosaline.

  2. Romeo's Character Development

    Being reasonable, the Friar points out that there's a whole world beyond the walls of Verona, but Romeo- in no mood to be reasonable- declares that there is nothing outside of Verona's walls except hell and torture. According to Romeo, banishment is just a nice name for death.

  1. Romeo's character analysis

    "he jests at scares that never felt a wound" just as someone who has never been wounded can jest about a soldier's battle scars, so someone who has never been in love can finds it easy to joke about the sufferings of a person deeply in love.

  2. Views of love in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

    work For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone Till holy church incorporate two in one." (II, iv, 35-37) Friar Laurence regards this passion as dangerous ("These violent delights have violent ends" [II, vi, 9]), according to him love shouldn't be a quick and overwhelming desire so he warns

  1. Discuss Shakespeare's use of contrast in 'Romeo and Juliet', commenting on language, character, plot ...

    for Rosaline, he "Private in his chamber pens himself, shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out" (act 1, scene 1). Romeo recognises that there is a difference between love and sex, and how special love is. There is also a contrast in character between Juliet, who loves Romeo back,

  2. Consider the character of Juliet. How does she change and develop from the beginning ...

    Juliet answers in a way intended to please. She describes marriage as an 'honour'. This line probably shows how marriage was seen as a guarantee and gateway to a good life and that marriage was the highlight of a young maid's life. Juliet also says that marriage was something that she 'dream[s] not of'.

  1. Comment on Shakespeare's use of violence in Romeo and Juliet.

    Tybalt then challenges Benvolio. Benvolio can not refuse as It would disgrace his honour. The stage direction says "they fight" which at this time would make the audience excited, but the audience doesn't want anyone specific to win as the audience doesn't know the characters and their personalities.

  2. Comment on Shakespeare's use of violence in "Romeo and Juliet".

    Even before all the characters are introduced you can tell which characters are the ones that mould the play for the main characters. Tybalt, Benvolio, Mercutio and the Nurse are the sort of characters that bring suspense into the play and the main characters only come in for the climax.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work