Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mercutio (Romeo and Juliet): Character Thursday #2

Reading Romeo and Juliet feels incomplete if not matching it with a little talk about this guy; Mercutio.

Mercutio is one of Romeo's bestfriends. He's not a Montague nor a Capulet. It is from his connection with Capulet that he gets invitation to the party, in which Romeo manages to come and meet Juliet.

Mercutio is a fun, witty, humorous person. But at times, his jokes are rude.. he just makes me want to punch him right on the face LOL. He is also moody, easily outbursts, provocative even.

If love be rough with you, be rough with love ~ Act I, Scene IV
If love be blind, it cannot hit the mark ~ Act II, Scene I
Good Peter, to hide her face; for her fan's the fairer face
~ Act II, Scene IV
Farewell ancient lady, farewell ~ Act II, Scene IV
And but one word with one of us? couple it with something; make it a word and a blow ~ Act III, Scene I

In 1968 movie adaptation Romeo and Juliet; John McEnery

In a loosely anime adaptation Romeo x Juliet

In 1996 movie Romeo + Juliet; Harold Perrineau Jr. 
Probably my most favorite Mercutio :D

Though he's not a main character, it is very interesting that Shakespeare made him play an important role. It is his temper thus his death that turns the story upside down.

At his rage before he dies, he curses the Montagues and Capulets;

A plague o' both your houses!
They have made worms' meat of me; I have it,
And soundly too; your houses!
~ Act III, Scene I

An English poet John Dryden wrote "Shakespeare show'd the best of his skill in his Mercutio, and he said himself, that he was forced to kill him in the third Act, to prevent being killed by him." Source: here.

Mercutio's death brings a massive grief to Romeo. Not only under the loss of a friend, but also because Romeo feels that it is partly his fault. The grief that plots Romeo into killing Tybalt, leading to his own banishment and the tragedies after.


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  1. "..He was forced to kill him in the third Act, to prevent being killed by him." << wow...! Seems that in each tragedy, Shakespeare still save one witty character, to balance the emotion, eh?

    Amd you made me more curious to this play (wait for May, Fanda!).

    1. Shakespeare's Mercutio is special, because it is said that in the original story (Arthur Brooke's poem) Mercutio only appears in a glimpse.
      But Shakespeare made him play a very significant role.

  2. Mad Mercutio, he's funny, indeed! But most of his jokes are bawdy, not really my taste. But it's Shakespeare. Even when he writes bawdy jokes, they are still subtle for our modern ears. Haha.

    I think Mercutio is quite annoying for Romeo at times. He mocks Romeo often for his lovey-dovey spirit. AH, you make me want to read it all over again! :p

    1. If ever Mercutio calls me "ancient lady" I'll surely hit him with an umbrella! LOL