Insecurities Of Mercutio Essay, Research Paper
In Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio, who projects himself as a flamboyant and carefree person is really just masking his insecurities. He feels that if he is always acting like a jester or valiant than nobody will be able to see inside of him and exploit his weaknesses. Mercutio also feels that if he is the source of everyone’s merriment he will be thought of as a clown and therefor less will be expected from him. He sets his character very early in the play. In fact, by the second line, while trying to persuade Romeo to go to the Capulet’s masque, he says in a whimsical and airy manner, “Borrow Cupid’s wings and soar with them above a common bound.” Meaning that Romeo does not need anything more than love to cure him of his flat-footedness. A few lines later Mercutio further validates the fact that he is a joker by reciting the Queen Mab speech, which basically talks in great detail about a little queen that flies around at night making people dream of love. Mercutio feels that he is expected to be funny and if he is not than people will be disappointed in him. People always look towards him whenever a situation occurs when he could possibly make fun of something or someone. The following quote depicts such a moment: “Good Peter, to hide her face; for her fan’s the fairer face.” This quote came after the nurse asked her servant to give her a fan; quick-witted Mercutio snapped back with this, meaning that the fan was prettier than the nurse was. Mercutio was also a good friend; he tried to protect Romeo from Rosaline and her rejections. He didn’t want Romeo to get hurt, he told Romeo that there were many suitable women in Verona and convinced Romeo to go to the Capulet’s ball. In Act I Scene IV he said, “Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance?If love be rough with you, be rough with love.” Mercutio also shows he is a true friend by showing contempt for those that he feels are hurting Romeo: “Why, that same pale hardhearted wench, that Rosaline, torments him so that he will sure run mad.” In Act III Mercutio shows that he is an instigator when he says, “Tybalt, you ratcatcher, will you walk?” Tybalt replies by inquiring, “What wouldst thou have with me?” Than Mercutio’s antagonistic personality really shows when he replies, “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.” In the preceding transpiration Mercutio basically daunted Tybalt by asking him if he would turn his back on a challenge, as if scared to face Mercutio. Tybalt then asked Mercutio why he wanted to fight, and Mercutio proceeded to say that he wanted to injure Tybalt, or as he put it, take one of his nine lives. This sequence of events is what eventually led to Mercutio’s demise, and it was all brought on by the fact that Mercutio felt he had to be the brave and all mighty warrior who couldn’t stand down to anybody. Mercutio had this “all or nothing” attitude implanted into his head and when faced with the two alternatives, to forfeit and be labeled a coward, or to die an honorable death, the latter of the two was probably easier. The agony of the first would be more than he as a man could endure.