Mercutio

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People should be less blunt, as jests can lead to conflicts both playful and violent

Act I, Scene IV

The humor of Mercutio leads to conflicts both small and large, but in this scene, Mercutio's monologue leads to a slight quarrel and annoyance from Romeo towards Mercutio. When Mercutio proclaims that, "'This is a hag, when maids lie on their backs, that presses them... This is she-'" Romeo expresses that he had heard enough and somewhat raises his voice shouting, "'Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace!'"(1011 lines 97-101). Although this conflict is very trivial, it still proves a point that Mercutio can be an annoyance and cause resentment and disputes.

Act II, Scene IV

Mercutio, witty and playful, always seeks an opportunity to test his skills. The night after the party, Mercutio makes fun of Romeo; Romeo rebuttles and this continues until their conversation grows into a playful battle of wits as Mercutio tells Romeo, "'Well said! Follow me this jest now till thou has worn out thy pump... Come between us good Benvolio! My wits faint.' 'Switch and spurs...! or I'll cry a match'"(1032 lines 64-73). As the conflict continues, the comments turn wittier and are more aimed. This continues for some time until Benvolio must step in.

Act III, Scene I

If not for the blunt and direct wit of Mercutio, much of what is to come of the romance of Romeo and Juliet never would of occurred. When Mercutio, with his usual wit, confronts Tybalt, saying, "'And but one word with one of us? Couple it with something; make it a word and a blow"'(1045 lines 40-42). As their wits duel, as do they and the fight grows in aggression until Mercutio is slain. His taunt eventually led to his death.

Theme

Act III, Scene I

As captured throughout the first three acts of the play, Mercutio's blunt jests lead him into conflicts both friendly and violent. This is most clear in the third act as Mercutio and Tybalt begin to fight. Mid-fight, Mercutio tells Tybalt, "' Tybalt, you ratcather, will you walk?"'(1046 line 78), leading Tybalt on even after they had began to fight. Although upset, Mercutio quite well have avoided a fight but kept provoking Tybalt until an all out duel formed.