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

    the hatred between the two sides ("What, drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word, as I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee " act 1, scene 1). As with all Shakespeare's writing, the language contains a lot of the play's meaning itself.

  1. Romeo's character analysis

    beautiful than Rosaline, his eyes would burn out because they were liars, unfaithful to the true belief: Rosaline's beauty. (Romeo's lines seem to be inspired by the practice of burning heretics at the stake) this shows how quickly he changes his mind and forgets about Rosaline.

  2. Romeo's character analysis

    Romeo describes his lips as 'the tools of love' and compares this to a prayer being the tools of Religion, before he kisses he say's "thus from my lips, by thine, my sin is purged." He is comparing Juliet to a saint, 'my sin is purged' Christians go to confessions to purge (cleanse)

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

    its meaning could be 'I am an attractive man', but on the other it can also be understood as 'referring to the genitals I've got a nice equipment'. James Sutherland and Joel Hurstfield describe the servants in the following way: "[...] they are making mildly bawdy jokes.

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

    The children were usually breastfed and taken care of, and raised by the nurse. Lady Capulet speaks about Juliet being of a 'pretty age'- or ready for marriage. This was a common view of the time, and Lady Capulet seems to have previous experience on the matter, as she had

  1. Romeo and Juliet. Mercutio is the only character, who brings action and comedy ...

    When Romeo says:"A man may strain courtesy?" Mercutio then replies to him by saying: "That's as much as to say, such a case as yours constrains a man to bow in the hams."

  2. Romeo and Juliet. How does Shakespeare use the dramatic device of character to ...

    Juliet belongs to Capulet family and is sworn the enemies of the Montague but their passion and the power of love end them up deciding to marry each other in secret, for me they are the greatest lovers of all time, if I was lucky like Romeo then I would

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