The Importance of Mercutio's Role in Romeo and Juliet
In Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet', each character plays a specific
role. Mercutio, is essential to the play he is the 'Prince's kinsman',
but more importantly, he is Romeo's best friend and confidant
.Although Mercutio is Romeo's closest friend he is very jealous of
Romeo when Romeo is with other people. Mercutio brings humour and wit
to the play which engages the audience. Mercutio is a typical young
man of that period in the way that he is an honourable aristocrat,
very independent and is free but on the other hand he isn't because he
speaks badly about women and often refers to them as being fruit
'poperin pear'. The audience love the character Mercutio because he is
humorous and often uses wordplay which interests the audience. Another
reason is because Mercutio's character stands out from the rest and he
is always living his life on the edge and always looking for something
new and exciting to do and he is constantly playing on words, using
two or more meanings.
There are two main reasons Mercutio's character is important to 'Romeo
and Juliet'. First of all, Mercutio convinces Romeo to attend the
feast at the Capulet's house, where he met Juliet. Romeo was very
reluctant to go to the feast and even expressed a feeling that he had
about what the night may bring 'I had a dream'. However, after
Mercutio advises Romeo, Romeo decides to go. It is merely because of
Mercutio's persuasions that Romeo attends the feast.
The second reason why Mercutio's character is essential is that it is
Mercutio's death that sets off the chain of events that leads to
Romeo's banishment which then leads to the tragic ending. First,
Tybalt murders Mercutio and Romeo is so offended by this that he kills
Tybalt. As a consequence, Romeo is banished from Verona and therefore
from seeing Juliet. During the first scene of Act 3, Mercutio is being
his normal, quick-witted self and he deliberately annoys Tybalt, while
Romeo is standing between them trying to stop the fight because he
knows that he is in Tybalts family and that it would offend Juliet if
anything awful happened. This symbolises how Romeo tries to end the
fighting between the Montague's and the Capulet's, but he can't.
In Act 1 Scene 4 Mercutio persuades Romeo to attend the Capulet feast.
Mercutio is a humorous, witty comedian and he is a close friend of
Romeo, although it seems that they have more of a brotherly bond.
Mercutio also uses sexual wordplay whilst attempting to cheer up Romeo
'prick love for pricking'. When Mercutio uses this he is also telling
Romeo to get over Rosaline and enjoy himself. Mercutio also tells
Romeo to not be afraid to take charge saying, 'If love be rough with
you, then be rough with love'. This shows how Mercutio simply cannot
understand Romeo's love...