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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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