Mercutio on Queen Mab

Topics: Love

The following academic paper highlights the up-to-date issues and questions of Prefer Example. This sample provides just some ideas on how this topic can be analyzed and discussed.

Romeo and Mercutio hold many likeable qualities. They share some of the same characteristics for example they are loyal to one another. At other times they can be totally miscellaneous for example how easily Mercutio is provoked and how Romeo is not. Also another contrast in their characters is their views on love and their different use of language.

I think Romeo premium quality is how he thinks about love, in the play he shows too sides to love the happy and bad side. In Act 1 Scene 1 Montague says: “Away from light…locks fair daylight out, and makes himself an artificial night.” This shows that when Romeo is in love he shuts himself away and even Benvolio his closest friend and cousin does not know what Romeo is feeling. Romeo even rejects the beauty of the dawn and I find this a bad quality in him.

This is because if I had a friend like Romeo I would want him to share his feelings with me, also if he did not his feelings with me then I would feel uncomfortable sharing my feeling with him. I would conclude that he did not trust me. The idea of Romeo hiding his feelings is enforced when Montague says, “But he, his own affections’ counsellor, is to himself.”

What Does Mercutio’s Queen Mab Speech Reveal About His Character

This conveys the impression that the only person Romeo tells his true feelings to is himself.

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In the sixteenth century it was very rather that a rich father would interact with his siblings but Montague is interested in Romeo life. Romeo enters the play appearing downcast and distracted for example when Benvolio asks Romeo “What sadness lengthens Romeo’s hours?” and Romeo replies “Not having that which, having, makes them short.” Romeo is very emotional he is happy and sad at the same time because of his love for Rosaline. He tries to express these two conflicting states in a series of called oxymorons. For example he says “feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health.” He expects Benvolio to be amused, but e is a solemn young man and offers sympathy to his friend and Romeo welcomes it. This is the first when Romeo reveals vaguely how he feels.

People often say that Mercutio and Romeo are best friends but Romeo does not even share his true feelings with Mercutio and in Act 2 Scene 1 Mercutio makes crude jokes using satirical language about Romeo love for Rosaline. For example Mercutio says, “If love is blind, love cannot hit the mark.” Mercutio is saying if love is blind how can love achieve it’s aim. This is a very morose way of thinking about love and as for Benvolio he tries to warn Mercutio that he could hurt Romeo’s feelings. This is shown when he says, “And if he hear thee, thou wilt anger him.” So drawing a conclusion from this scene I would say that Benvolio and Romeo have a better relationship with each other than Romeo and Mercutio, in the play.

If I were Benvolio I would feel very uncomfortable because if Mercutio can speak this way about his best friend I would be very paranoid and apprehensive if he would say crude jokes about me. Also in this scene it presence two different aspects of love. We are reminded of Romeo passion for Rosaline – the fanciful emotion that made him feel ill. He worshipped Rosaline as a goddess. Mercutio’s own attitude to women is in a complete contrast; there is no emotion at all here, only sexual desire. However Romeo’s and Juliet will be a third type of love.

In the sixteenth century it was fashionable to hire an amateur entertainment in which gentlemen could visit a party to which they had not been invited. When Mercutio decides to go to the Capulet’s ball Romeo thinks before proceeding in instead he thinks about the consequences might be. For example he says:

“I fear too early; for my mind misgives

Some consequence yet hanging in the stars

Shall bitterly begin his fearful date

With this night’s reveals, and expire the term

Of a despised life clos’d in my breast

By some vile forfeit of untimely death.”

In the sixteenth century people believed that the stars you were born under would lead your fate. Romeo thinks that the stars are foretelling the future of ‘untimely death’ which comes true. As Romeo thinking about his actions it shows that there is a level of maturity in him unlike Mercutio, Romeo thinks before he acts. When the first time Romeo casts his eyes upon Juliet he says,

“Did my heart love till now? Forswear it sight!

For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.”

When Romeo is talking about Juliet he never stops to consider his love for Rosaline, although Rosaline does not love him he is very quick to change his mind about his true love. This can suggest two things firstly that Romeo always follows his heart and knows that when he sees ‘true beauty’ he does not miss the opportunity by being shy. Secondly it also might convey the impression that he was immature and could not commit himself to a relationship. If I were Romeo’s friend this would concern me because if he suddenly changes his mind about whom he loves he may change his mind about his friends. When Romeo first speaks to Juliet they speak together in a fourteen-lined sonnet, it is complex artificial verse, which was popular in the sixteenth century and generally regarded as the proper medium for love poetry. In this sonnet Romeo develops a religious image for four lines which rhyme alternately he starts with a devout religious utterance and says:

“If I profane with my unworthiest hand

This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this:

My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand

To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.”

There is similar language in Act 2 Scene 2 where Romeo expresses his romantic feelings in some very elaborate language. For example he says,

“Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,

Who is already sick and pale with grief,

That thou her maid far more fair than she.”

This is the conventional language of love poetry: it was fashionable for lovers to speak in this way. Very quickly, however, the language becomes more simple; Romeo is leaning to express genuine feeling to illustrate Romeo says, “It is my lady. O, it is my love! O that she knew she were!”

The most admirable thing about Romeo is that he is not easily provoked or exasperated. For example Tybalt taunts and ridicules Romeo when he says,

“Romeo, the love I bear thee can afford

No better term than this – thou art a villain.”

When Tybalt calls him a ‘villain’ it does not mean a bad person but he called him a peasant and in Elizabethan times this was great insult to a man of noble birth like Romeo. After hearing this Romeo replies later, “Good Capulet, which name I tender as dearly as my own, be satisfied.” This shows that Romeo has a lot of maturity and is not an adolescence young boy and he knows that violence does not solve anything. When Mercutio draws his sword to fight Tybalt Romeo immediately tries to stop him, this is shown when he says,

“Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up…Gentlemen, for shame, forbear this outrage!

Tybalt, Mercutio, the Prince expressly hath

forbid this bandying in Verona streets.”

Although I have said that Romeo is not a violence, savage, vehemence person he kills the County Paris when he is in a state of disorder near the end of play. After he kills Paris he show pity for him. Romeo calls him, “Good gentle youth,” and when Paris is dying he says his last wish, “O, I am slain! -If thou be merciful, open the tomb, lay me with Juliet,” and Romeo fulfils this wish. This shows that Romeo is not jealous of him and after all it is the least thing that he can do. If Romeo had left Paris I would have thought less of him and I would have lost respect for him because I can not imagine Romeo being spiteful, vengeful or malicious.

Mercutio is a likeable character in many ways but he uses satirical and incisive language, which I think is his downfall in his character. Mercutio is a typical adolescence boy who always looks for attention. There are many examples of this, firstly he challenges Tybalt to a fight and he provokes Tybalt by saying:

“Good King of Cats, nothing but one of your nine

lives, that I mean to make bold withal; and, as you

shall use me hereafter, dry-beat the rest of the

eight. Will you pluck your sword out of his pilcher

by the ears? Make haste, lest mine be about your

ears ere it be out.”

Here all of the crowd’s eyes are on Mercutio. He shows a lot of confidence because he challenges a skilled fighter. I think that it is noble of him to fight for Romeo but I think Mercutio fought also for pride unlike Romeo who avenges his friend’s death. There was need for Mercutio to fight Tybalt because Romeo was in no danger and Tybalt had asked Romeo to fight not Mercutio, so I think that Mercutio fought Tybalt because he did not want to seem like a coward backing down in a fight. This is a very bad quality in Mercutio because it got him killed and it is there when the tragedy really begins. Secondly in Act 1 Scene 4 Mercutio’s energetic imagination explodes into life with his fantastic ‘Queen Mab’ speech. Here he acts definitely out of character. Queen Mab is the fantastic personage created by Shakespeare’s imagination. She is responsible for bringing dreams to life. When Mercutio says,

“Through lovers’ brains, and then they dream love;

O’er courtiers’ knees, that dream on curtsies straight;

O’er lawyers fingers, who straight dream on fees

O’er ladies’ lips, who straight on kisses dream”

This is the highly poetic side of him and he is very uncharacteristic I think Mercutio is saying to Romeo that people want to love or be loved will dream about it and Queen Mab will make it come true. I think Mercutio might even be saying that Romeo is so focused on love that he forgets the people around him, like Mercutio. He might feel jealous because his friend is so in love that they slowly drift apart. An example of Mercutio talking about their disintegrating relationship is when he is dying; he reveals his true feelings and says, “Why the devil came you between us?” Mercutio is asking what came between you and me: love. I think that Mercutio has wanted to tell Romeo’s his feeling but he might be worried that he’d look too sensitive and would lose his reputation of being the typical teenager who is troublesome, insubordinate and lewd.

A very good quality is Mercutio’s humorous character and very lively, for example he decides to go to the Capulet’s ball. He has an imaginative side to him even though we only see it once or twice. His imagination is shown in his ‘Queen Mab’ speech. When Mercutio is dying he makes jocose and facetious jokes about himself, for instance he says:

“Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch; marry, ’tis enough…

“No, ’tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door; but ’tis enough, ’twill serve.”

I think Mercutio make these comments because he pretends to not take things seriously which shows his courage.

I would pick Romeo has my companion because he is sensitive, sincere and respectful. I would not pick Mercutio because although he is fun it could get fatuous and I would be grieved at any satirical comments about me.

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Mercutio on Queen Mab. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from

Mercutio on Queen Mab
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