Romeo and Juliet FOIL Characters Essay

1569 Words7 Pages
A foil character contrasts the personalities of another character, which particularly enlightens certain characteristics of the individual. This element portrays these characteristics in an obvious manner, as it benefits the reader or audience. By showing the characteristics of one, it directly heightens the character traits of the other, creating a foil illustration of an individual. Nowhere is this element of literature more prudent than in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, as he effectively engages the use of foil characters. In the play, two lovers from opposing, and hateful families fall in love, but the hatred between households lead to their downfall. Characters in the immoral city of Verona are set to represent key themes and…show more content…
They have made worms meat of me,” (3.1, 68-69). This quote exemplifies that although Mercutio is neither a Montague nor a Capulet he still dies in a battle fought between the families. This incident heightens Romeo’s fatal flaw, as his reckless act of heroism turned out to be a burden as it caused the death of Mercutio. Moreover, Mercutio’s plague towards the families also foreshadows further tragedy, as Romeo then gets banished from the Verona, along with additional events which later on result to his death. Last, even after his death, Mercutio acts as a foil character to Romeo by causing a shift in Romeo’s gentle character. For example, after Tybalt slays Mercutio, Romeo avenges his friend by killing Tybalt. This act shows his alteration in character, as he was never seen as a ferocious character in any previous scenes. This is evident in the play when Romeo says, “Away to Heaven, respective lenity, and fire-eyed fury be my conduct now,” (3.1, 125-126). This quote exemplifies Romeo’s new perception, as he claims he is finished with sympathy and gentleness. This change in Romeo’s personality is significant because not only is he going to attack Tybalt, but also he is going to kill him, which then entitles him a murderer. This is significant because it further leads to his banishment, which in all leads to his death. The transition in the persona of Romeo is highlighted by the character Mercutio, which leads to the
Open Document