Romeo & Juliet - Foil Characters

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade April 2001

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A foil character is one who enhances unique characteristics of another character. This is accomplished by a strong contrast between the two characters. The famous play writer, William Shakespeare uses numerous foil characters throughout his plays. One of these famous plays is Romeo and Juliet. This play has many foil characters which magnify qualities in other characters. Specifically Romeo, who is the main character of the play and has three main foil characters. Each one of these characters brings out a specific quality in Romeo's character.

With his belief in loveless love, physical attraction, and no romantic actions, Mercutio brings out passionate love, emotional attraction, and romantic actions in Romeo's character. First, Mercutio magnifies passionate love in Romeo. Mercutio is a wild man who lives on the edge. He dose not believe in serious relationships. He only meets women for pleasure. On the other hand, Romeo is interested in a meaningful relationship with passionate love.

As a result Mercutio's belief in loveless love magnifies passionate love in Romeo's character. Similarly, Mercutio strives on physical attraction only; this makes Romeo's emotional attraction stand out even more. Mercutio is attracted to beautiful women only. While, Romeo is attracted to intelligent, nice, and beautiful women. Hence, Romeo's attraction is brought out. Finally, Romeo's romantic side is brought out by a lack of a romantic side in Mercutio. Mercutio is only interested in the act of love. Yet, Romeo is interested in Romantic actions more than anything. Because of this, Romeo's romantic qualities are emphasized by Mercutio's lack of them. Thus, Mercutio, who lacks them, stresses Romeo's love characteristics.

Tybalt, a main character and Juliet's cousin, experiences moments of anger, rage, and lust for revenge. Romeo benefits from this because it shows his calm, peaceful, and forgiving qualities. All through the play Tybalt...