Romeo and Juliet Character Analysis - Mercutio

1427 Words Mar 13th, 2006 6 Pages
Shakespeare has no doubt created some of the most dynamic and interesting characters in written history, and in Romeo and Juliet there were several memorable ones. Aside from the hero and heroine, the voluble and witty Mercutio is as memorable a character as is found in all of Shakespeare's plays. He acts as a significant character in terms of plot advancement; but more importantly, Mercutio himself is a fascinating man in many aspects.

Mercutio is not part of the Montague family, he is however a friend of Romeo's and related to the Prince of Verona. One would think this puts him relatively outside the family feud, but we learn that Mercutio is only all to willing to play along with this adversary, and ultimately his quick and volatile
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In our first encounter with Mercutio he was talking with Romeo, and we can clearly see some of Mercutio's remarks are personal to Romeo and is trying to get at something. Mercutio then launches into his famous Queen Mab speech which obviously unsettles Romeo. Despite their slight argument we can see that the two get along exceptionally well.

There is evidence to show that Mercutio values his friendship with Romeo a lot. Even though on the outside he might not show it, his subtle words and actions points out that he cares for Romeo's wellbeing and wishes the best for his friend. This can be seen when Mercutio remarked that Romeo is back to his old self. Although Mercutio was unaware of Romeo's secret marriage to Juliet, he noticed the change in his mood just from his behaviour. Mercutio may be a jester who mocks and taunts however there must be another side to him, perhaps a gentle one that we have yet to see but sadly never will.

Mercutio's death is the turning point in Romeo and Juliet, sparking the final events of tragic sequences. It is clear that Mercutio is not put out of the way by Shakespeare for any other reason than the fact that his death generates the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Although immediately after, the tragedy does not unfold with mathematic precision, there is no doubt that Mercutio's death was the trigger.

With this in mind, one might be tempted to ask what might happen had Mercutio not