Romeo and Juliet Foil Essay

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Foil characters are defined as characters that are used to contrast another character. This character in most cases is the protagonist. Moreover, foil characters tend to be based on the protagonist’s hubris, wherein contrasting the fatal flaw shows how it has ballooned out of control. Foil characters further themes by highlighting the characteristics of certain characters that will help enhance the theme. The role of foil characters in Shakespearean tragedies is to show what could have happened if the protagonist made a different choice. Likewise, this idea is prevalent within Romeo and Juliet. Furthermore, this play portrays two children from warring families who meet and fall in love, but eventually kill themselves as their love is not…show more content…
This results in Romeo’s fate to be darkened. Second, Mercutio shows how Romeo is constantly dreaming. Mercutio’s realism contrasts Romeo’s head in the clouds. This is revealed when Mercutio says “True, I talk of dreams, which [is] the [child] of an [inactive] brain,” (1.4, 96-97). This quote exemplifies that dreaming cannot be a portent, and that it can change just like the wind. This also shows that Mercutio has a flamboyant imagination, while demonstrating his mocking side. This quote also acts as foreshadowing in which shows that if Romeo keeps his head in the clouds he will make mistakes in life, such as him quickly marring Juliet. Moreover, this quote reveals that Mercutio is an important foil character because his view on love contrasts that of Romeo. Mercutio’s view on love is that it is futile, however Romeo thinks of it as a key component to life. Mercutio’s mocking of the hopeless love, makes Romeo’s view look stronger and more passionate. Third, Mercutio shows how serious Romeo is. Mercutio always talks in a witting and light-hearted way, in which contrasts to Romeo’s seriousness. Mercutio always uses clever wordplay and puns to mock people and bring comic relief into the play. This is emphasized when Mercutio says “And but one word with one of us? ... Make it a word and a blow,” (3.1, 40-41). This quote illustrates the comedy that Mercutio brings. At the edgy moment when Tybalt was about to fight, Mercutio still made a mockery of him.
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