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

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 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. Mercutio says:                           “Prick love for pricking and you beat love down.” If we are to keep in mind, Mercutio’s often crude nature, it appears that suggests to Romeo that in order for him to conquer love and cure him self of love he should have sex excessively. One interpretation is that Mercutio suggest to Romeo that sex is all that the glorified emotion of love is. Thus it is meaningless. This is just one of many occasions in which he engages in smutty, boisterous language. We can gather that Mercutio was a non –romantic unlike Romeo. He believed that what people called love were just desires based on sexual appetite.       An example of Mercutio’s use of punning is in Act 2 Scene 4, when the nurse requires some confidence with Romeo. Benvolio implies that she is a prostitute. The idea of this tickles Mercutio as she is an older woman. He shouts                        “A  bawd, a bawd, a bawd! So ho!”This is a mockery because he demonstrates a typical hunter’s cry, upon spotting their quarry- a prostitute in this case.                                    When Romeo asks him what he spotted, he replies with a string of double entendres saying “No hare, sir; unless a hare, sir, in a Lenten pie, that is something stale and hoar ere it be spent"            
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 The literal meaning being that Mercutio had  not seen anyone worthy of sexual pursuit . Mercutio intended the phrase to have a crude meaning. He used it to refer to the Nurse as a whore whom you’d use when you could not get any better, in which case they’d be so mouldy and stale that you’d be repulsed before you were done with her.  The phrase is loaded with alliterative couplets such as the malapropisms of the words ‘hoar’ and ‘hare’. This is what makes it a ‘Double entendre’ .The word ‘hare’ was slang for prostitute. A Lenten pie was ...

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