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Character analysis of Mercutio

             When we study the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, written by William Shakespeare, the play's obvious messages of fate and love become apparent. It is about two people in love who commit suicide when their feuding families prevent them from being together. However, one of the biggest underlying questions that rest on the mind of the reader is: "Who is Mercutio, and what is his role in the play?" The play has many characters, each with their own role in keeping the plot line. Some characters have very little to do with the plot but some have the plot revolving around them. Mercutio is one of the most unique characters in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. His most important role, however, is that Mercutio is Romeo's friend. He is neither a Montague, nor a Capulet. Therefore, he has not been born into a feud yet he still allies himself with the Capulets.
             Mercutio's character stands out from the rest because of the energy in everything says and does. He is constantly playing on words, using two or more meanings. Romeo once describes him as, "A gentlemen who loves to hear himself talk" (2.4.145-147). Also, displayed in his Queen Mab speech in Act I Scene IV, he is very imaginative. He describes in intimate detail everything about a personal world he has imagined. In that same scene, Mercutio describes how he believes that people should chase after what they desire. He tells Romeo to not be afraid to take charge of their own lives, saying, "If love be rough with you, then be rough with love" (1.4.27). Mercutio teases Romeo, in Act II Scene I: "Romeo! Humours! Madman! Passion! Lover! Appear though in the likeness of a sigh" (2.1.8-9).
             This demonstrates how Mercutio cannot comprehend the love between Romeo and Juliet. If anything, Mercutio thinks that Romeo's love is merely his inability to contain and control his own emotions. As we can see, Mercutio is very independent and does not understand how someone could want or need anyone else to fulfill their own happiness.

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