People should know when to stop

Act I, Scene 2

In this particular scene, Benvolio has been listening to the struggles and woes of his cousin, Romeo, who has been rejected by a women who he believed to be "the love of his life". After listening to many of his cousin's dreary sorrows, Benvolio interjects saying, "Tut, man, one fire burns out another's burning; One pain is lessened by another's anguish;"(Shakespeare, pg. 1002, lines 48-49). Benvolio is trying to tell his cousin that he needs to forget about Rosaline and find a new love. Romeo, however, is blind to what he is putting himself through. Because Romeo was unable to let go, this led to Romeo meeting Juliet. After Romeo is banished from Verona, he is unable to let go of his love for Juliet. That lead to Romeo returning to Verona after hearing the news that his Juliet was dead and also to Romeo killing himself. If Romeo had only listened to the sound advice of Benvolio, then all of these struggles could have been avoided.

Act II, Scene 1

There are many different scenarios in which people need to know when to stop. Another example of this plight is presented when Benvolio and his friend, Mercutio, are searching for their lost friend, Romeo. After Benvolio asks Mercutio to call out for Romeo, Mercutio decides to instead taunt Romeo about his lost love, Rosaline, until Romeo shows himself. Eventually, Benvolio realizes what Mercutio is doing and says, "... if he hear thee, thou wilt anger him."(Shakespeare, pg. 1022, line 24). However, Mercutio continues to speak words against Rosaline. Another time will come when this decision will bring a nasty end to Mercutio's life when Merc decides to pick a fight with Tybalt and ends up getting stabbed.

Act III, Scene 1

As the 3rd act begins, Benvolio and Mercutio are walking through Verona when they spy a few Capulets. Benvolio wishes to go home so he wouldn't quarrel with any Capulets. Mercutio, however, wishes to go to battle for the fun of it. Benvolio tries to persuade Mercutio saying, "An I were so apt to quarrel as thou art, any man should buy the fee simple of my life for an hour and a quarter."(Shakespeare, pg. 1045, lines 32-35). Mercutio didn't listen to Benvolio, so he continued on his quest to find someone to fight with. He eventually angered Tybalt greatly enough that he would fight. Tybalt shortly stabbed Mercutio and Mercutio's life was ended. If Mercutio had only listened and chosen to return home, then he would have still been alive through the rest of the show.

Theme Summary

Many of the tragedies that happen in this play are due to people not knowing when to not continue with their actions. From not being able to let go of a loved one to not knowing when to close your mouth. However, there is a moment in the production that brings a very bittersweet taste to my mouth. The moment that I find to define my theme is when Mercutio dies. This Merc with a mouth dies because he could be serious when he truly needed assistance. His final testimony was as follows, "'I am hurt. A plague o' both your houses! I am sped. Is he gone and hath nothing? (Mercutio)' 'What, art thou hurt?(Benvolio)' 'Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch. Mary, tis enough. Where is my page? Go, villian, fetch a surgeon. (Mercutio)' 'Courage, man. The hurt cannot be much. (Romeo)'"(Shakespeare, pg. 1047, lines 94-101). As you just read, Mercutio died because he would not give up the act even though he was severely injured. This inability to quit is exactly why so many people died throughout this show.