A romantic, a determined, an unpredictable: these are all one-word labels for three very complex characters. Romeo, Juliet, and Mercutio make up a triangle of tangled emotions and situations in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Therefore, Shakespea has created multidimensional characters who have both strengths and weaknesses. Romeo is impulsive and romantic. Romeo loves the idea of “being in love,” but he does not know what true love really feels like.
After the fight in the streets of Verona in Act I, Romeo’s father says something about his son’s behavior to Benvolio, “Away from the light steals home my heavy son,/ And private in his chamber pens himself,/ Shuts up his windows, locks far daylight out,/ And makes himself an artificial night:”(Shakespeare 1. 1. 145-148). Romeo is sick with his love for Rosaline, has locked himself away by day to pine for her. He wanders the orchards at night to be alone and dream of his true love, and he isolates himself from his family and friends.
Although Romeo is impulsive, he can also be romantic.
Romeo sees Juliet at her window. Romeo hears Juliet talking to herself on her balcony and at first glance he is speechless, but then he says, “But Soft! What light through yonder breaks? / It is the East, and Juliet is the sun! / Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, / Who is already sick and pale with grief” (Shakespeare 2. 2. 3-5). Romeo is comparing Juliet’s beauty to the sun and that the moon looks sick and green because it is jealous of her. He leaves just before dawn to plan their wedding just after they are done talking about their love for each other. Juliet is cautious and determined.
Romeo meets Juliet at her balcony and they stand there talking about love for each other. What she says next to Romeo is, “I have no joy of this contract tonight. / It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden; / Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be/ Ere one can say “it lightens. ” Sweet, goodnight! ” (Shakespeare 2. 2. 128-131). Juliet does not want to move too fast in their relationship for it to be over just as fast as it started. She also does not want to be “left in the dark” and heart broken. Even though Juliet is cautious, she is also very determined to get what she wants.
As we know, Juliet is a Capulet and Romeo is a Montague, they are supposed to hate each other. Juliet does not care, though; she claims that she has to be with her Romeo no matter the consequences. Juliet says, “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art though Romeo? / Deny thy father and refuse thy name! / Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, / And I’ll no longer be a Capulet. ” (Shakespeare 2. 2. 35-38). In order for Juliet and Romeo to be together, Juliet will have to give up her family. Because Juliet is said to be so in love with Romeo, she is willing to do just that.
Mercutio is aggressive and humorous. At the start of Act 3, Mercutio starts to fight Tybalt. Mercutio is actually fighting Tybalt for Romeo, because Romeo says he will not fight anyone. Mercutio ends up drawing his sword and says, “Good Kings 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. ” (Shakespeare 3. 1. 80-85).
As Mercutio and Tybalt are about to start fighting, Mercutio is threatening to take one of his nine lives as if he is a cat. Mercutio also meant that he would give a beating to the eight remaining lives. On the other hand, Mercutio is also incredibly witty. Mercutio has a famous speech that he told Romeo which was a spinning tale of the Queen Mab. Mercutio was telling this speech to Romeo, because he was trying to cheer him up. Part of the Queen Mab was, “This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs, / That presses them and learns them first to bear, / Making them women of good carriage.
The Queen Mab was mainly about bringing dreams to people, but at time it would get sexual. Mercutio’s speech is full of laughter. Seeing examples from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet shows how he has created multidimensional characters who have both strengths and weaknesses. Romeo and Juliet thought they knew what true love was, but in reality it was just lust. For Mercutio, he was just a guy in-over his head. A romantic, a determined, an unpredictable: these are all one-word labels for Romeo, Juliet, and Mercutio.
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