Mercutio is one of the most unique characters in Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet”. His language is always powerful and imaginative. He represents many different things in the play and holds an important role. Both of these categories will be explored in this essay, among other things. First of all, Mercutio is Romeo’s friend. He is neither Montague, nor Capulet. Therefore, he has not been born into a feud and really has no side. However, his bond with Romeo does make him associated with the Montagues.
Mercutio’s character stands out from the rest because of his energy in everything he does and says. He is very fun loving and has a genuine love for life. He is living his life on the edge and always looking for something new and exciting to do. He is constantly playing on words, using two or more meanings. Romeo once describes him as, “A gentlemen…who loves to hear himself talk. ” As displayed in his Queen Mab speech in Act I Scene iv, he is very imaginative. He describes in intimate detail everything about a little world he has imagined.
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He creates this miniature society which he uses to explain how we get our dreams. In that same scene, Mercutio reveals to the audience how he believes one should chase after what is desired. He tells Romeo to not be afraid to take charge saying: “If love be rough with you, then be rough with love. ” Mercutio teases Romeo, in Act I Scene iv: “Romeo! Humours! Madman! Passion! Lover! Appear though in the likeness of a sigh. ” This shows how Mercutio simply cannot understand Romeo’s love for Juliet, and that he sees his love as simply a confusion of emotions.
Mercutio is very independent and free and does not understand how someone could want or need anyone or anything else in his life to fulfill it. Mercutio wants to live his life on the spur of the moment. He is not interested in being dependent on anyone. There are two main reasons Mercutio’s character is important to the actual plot of “Romeo & Juliet”. First of all, Mercutio convinces Romeo to attend the party at the Capulet’s house, where he met Juliet. Romeo was very reluctant to go to the party and even expressed a feeling of insecurity about what the night may bring.
However, after Mercutio advises Romeo and teases him a little, Romeo decides to go. It is solely because of Mercutio’s persuasions that Romeo opts to attend the gathering. The second way Mercutio’s character is vital to the plot is it is Mercutio’s death that sets off the chain of events that leads to Romeo’s banishment. First, Tybalt murders Mercutio. Romeo is so enraged 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 III, Mercutio is being his regular, quick-witted self.
He is very sharp in his language, but perhaps too sharp. He deliberately annoys Tybalt, by doing things like purposely mistaking meanings of words, like in Act III Scene I, Tybalt begins addressing Mercutio about the relationship between Romeo and Juliet and Romeo takes the word ‘consort’ as related to playing music, instead of being friends with Romeo. Instances like this simply make the argument more and more heated, until Mercutio takes Tybalt’s final blow, while Romeo is standing between them actually trying to stop the fight.
This symbolizes how Romeo may try as he will to end the fighting between the Montagues and the Capulets, but he cannot. Mercutio’s death is a major event in this play. When Tybalt kills Mercutio, the attributes of a comedy die with him. From now on, this play becomes a Tragedy. This demonstrates how Mercutio is a strong representation of all that is youthful and carefree in this play. Mercutio does not change dramatically in this play. The only slight change a reader may see is when he is about to die, he yells: “A plague on both your houses! This may be regarded as a change because Mercutio has never been so serious before. He has never expressed any disagreement of the relationship between the Montagues and the Capulets. Now, he seems to realize the damage the fighting is capable of doing, unfortunately, it was too late for him. In conclusion, Mercutio’s character is obviously very complex and vital to the plot of this play. He represents independence, youth, and freedom, and makes the story line a lot more interesting. He is apparently a vital role to this play and its success.