Romeo and Juliet directed by Baz Luhrmann.

Essay by luckmeister July 2003

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Mercutio is one of the most unique characters in Baz Luhrmann's movie "Romeo & Juliet". His language is always powerful and imaginative. He represents many different things in the play and holds an important role. Mercutio is Romeo's friend. He is neither Montague, nor Capulet. Therefore, he has not been born into a feud and really has no side. However, his bond with Romeo does make him associated with the Montagues. In this essay I will describe the complex character of Mercutio and how he influences the story.

Mercutio's character stands out from the rest because of his energy in everything he does and says. He is very fun loving and has a genuine love for life. He is living his life on the edge and always looking for something new and exciting to do. He is constantly playing on words, using two or more meanings. Romeo describes him as, "A gentlemen...who

loves to hear himself talk." This is shown in his Queen Mab speech. He describes in intimate detail everything about a little world he has imagined. He creates this miniature society which he uses to explain how we get our dreams. In that same scene, Mercutio reveals to the audience how he believes one should chase after what is desired. He tells Romeo to not be afraid to take charge saying: "If love be rough with you, then be rough with love," showing his desire to help others and his best friend. Mercutio is very independent and free and does not understand how someone could want or need anyone or anything else in his life to fulfil it. Mercutio wants to live his life on the spur of the moment. He is not interested in being dependent on anyone. This is why I admire his character.

There are two main reasons Mercutio's character is important to the actual plot of "Romeo & Juliet". First of all, Mercutio was the one who convinced Romeo to attend the party at the Capulet's house, where he met Juliet. Romeo was very reluctant to go to the party and even expressed a feeling of insecurity about what the night may bring. However, after Mercutio advises Romeo and teases him a little, Romeo decides to go. It is because of Mercutio's persuasions that Romeo chooses to attend the gathering and meeting Juliet. The second way Mercutio's character is vital to the plot is it is Mercutio's death that sets off the chain of events that leads to Romeo's banishment. Tybalt slays Mercutio. Romeo in his rage slays Tybalt and as a consequence, Romeo is banished from Verona and therefore from seeing Juliet.

In conclusion, Mercutio's character is obviously very complex and vital to the plot of this play. He represents independence, youth, and freedom, and makes the movie a lot more interesting with his acts and shenanigans that liven up the concepts of the movie. The ultimate reason for such a rich character, is so Shakespeare does not seem like such a dull person and appears more comical.