In the play, two lovers from opposing, and hateful families fall in eve, but the hatred between households lead to their downfall. Characters in the immoral city of Verona are set to represent key themes and elements of tragedy, and these features are illuminated by the strong use of foil characters. In William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet, Romeos qualities are emphasized and distinguished through the foil representations Of Mercuric, Table, and both households. Mercuric is an important foil character for Romeo as his realistic mindset amplifies Romeos dreamy and romantic thinking.
First, Mercuric heightens Romeos idealistic mentality, as Mercuric has no belief in true love. For example, as Romeo expresses his love for Rosalie, Mercuric mocks him and points out that love is non-existent. This is represented when Mercuric says, “If love be rough with you, be rough with love. Prick love for pricking and you beat love down,” (Shakespeare, 1. 4, 27-28). This quote reveals Americium’s sour attitude towards love and highlights Romeos childish thinking.
Moreover, Romeo is lost in grief and feels his world has fallen apart while Mercuric realizes the unnecessary gloominess Romeo is bringing upon himself. This in turn makes Mercuric a great foil as his knowledge and maturity contrasts with Romeos innocence. Second, Americium’s death highlights Romeos rashness, his impulsive mentality, and foreshadows further catastrophe in the play. For example, his thoughtless and impetuous actions are the cause of Americium’s death. This is evident when Mercuric curses, “A plague booth your houses!
They have made worms meat of me,” (3. 1, 68-69). This quote exemplifies that although Mercuric is neither a Montague nor a Caplet he still dies in a battle fought between the families. This incident heightens Romeos fatal flaw, as his reckless act of heroism turned out to be a burden as it caused the death of Mercuric. Moreover, Americium’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, Mercuric acts as a foil character to Romeo by causing a shift in Romeos gentle character. For example, after Table slays Mercuric, Romeo avenges his friend by killing Table. This act shows his alteration in character, as he was ever seen as a ferocious character in any previous scenes. This is evident in the play when Romeo says, “Away to Heaven, respective lenient, and fire-eyed fury be my conduct now,” (3. 1, 125-126). This quote exemplifies Romeos new perception, as he claims he is finished with sympathy and gentleness.
This change in Romeos personality is significant because not only is he going to attack Table, 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 y the character Mercuric, which leads to the slaughter of Table who is another important foil character towards Romeo. Table is an important foil character as his actions ultimately mark a shift in Romeos character.
First, Table’s killing of Mercuric causes Romeo to retaliate his friend’s death. For example, Romeo avenges Mercuric by killing Table. This is illustrated when Romeo says, ‘That late thou agaves me for Americium’s soul is but a little way above our heads, staying for thin to keep him company. Either thou or l, or both must go with him,” (3. 1, 88-91). This quote illustrates that Romeo has turned violent, and is willing to slay his best friends murderer, an action that would be surprising based on prior scenes of the play.
This mindset by Romeo also provokes him into killing Verona’s most notorious fighters, Table, the Prince of Cats, an action which would mark a significant change in Romeos persona. Next, Table’s loyalty towards the Caplet family heightens Romeos perfidy to the Montague. For example, at the Caplet ball, Table urges to kill Romeo in the name of the Capsules because he is a Montague.
For example, this is evident when Romeo proposes peace while Table declines the offer. Nowhere is this stated stronger than in the encounter of them both while Romeo persuades, ‘Villain am none… L do protest I never injured thee, but love thee better than thou cants devise,” (3. 1, 65, 69-70). This quote portrays Romeo as a peaceful character, meaning no harm towards the violent Table who then demands Romeo to ‘ ‘Turn and draw [his sword],” (3. 1 , 68). This shows Table is a fierce and aggressive character, as he seems to impose Sioux and cruel actions even though peace is offered.
This indeed highlights Romeos serenity, due to the violent reply by Table. Although he is the son of a Montague, Romeo seems to want no part in the family feud, yet Table and other family members appear to generate the fight, and by doing so they act as foil characters towards Romeo. The families act as key foil characters to Romeo by enlarging his lack for interest in the feud. First, Romeo wants no part in their ancient feud though both households want it to continue. For example, Romeo understands that after marrying Juliet, he must treat the
Caplet family as his own, meanwhile individuals such as Table seems to want no part in resolving the conflict. This is distinct when Romeo expresses to Table that “[he] [tenders] [the] [name] Caplet as dearly as [his] own,” (3. 1, 72-73). This quote explains that Romeo is willing to accept the Capsules although they are sworn enemies, to which Table responds by attacking Mercuric and Romeo. This act by Table heightens Romeos form of consent, as his violent reaction overthrows Romeos kindness. Furthermore, Romeo does not seem to want part in any wealth or abundance whereas the families o.
For example, he feels money is the reason for all his troubles, implying it being the cause for the family feud. This is clear when Romeo tells the Apothecary “[Here] is [your] [money]… Doing more murder in this loathsome world than [poison] that thou Mays not sell,” (5. 1 , 81-82). This quote exemplifies that Romeo realizes how ironic it is that money itself creates more problems in the world than actual poison. If it were not for the money and the dispute between the families, tragic events that would lead to Romeos death such as his banishment would not have occurred.
Also, Gullet’s, Table’s, and Americium’s death have all been caused by the feud. The families are thus meaningful foils for Romeo, as they emphasize and stress his understanding of the problems of wealth while they, themselves are lost in it. Finally, Romeos love for Juliet is enhanced by the Caplet household’s ignorance towards her. For example, Lady Caplet does not maintain a good relationship with her daughter, and is unable to support and understand Juliet distresses. This is evident when Lady Caplet says, “Talk not to me, for I’ll not speak a word. Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee,” (3. , 204-205). This quote exemplifies that Juliet is not cared for by her own mother.
As Lord Caplet fixes the date of his daughters wedding to man she does not love, Lady Caplet has no intentions of supporting her daughter in the situation. Juliet is not receiving the love from her own family, which highlights Romeos fondness towards her. In all, the families act as major foils towards Romeo as they are able to emphasize his personality traits. In summary, in William Shakespearean Romeo and Juliet, Mercuric, Table, and both the households CT as foils towards Romeo as they brighten his qualities.
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