Being different, but Staying the Same
The commitment and loyalty that Shakespearean character, Mercutio, in the play Romeo and Juliet, has to his friends are strong as if a blood pact is signed. He as one of the major characters in the play tries to the defend his friends, Romeo and Benvolio, and their Family-Montague. Seemingly dynamic, but actually static, Mercutio keeps his explosive and sarcastic character and is ready to enter every fight for his friends, no matter if it’s verbal or sword, so he can defend the honor of the family of Montague and keep the conflict with the Capulets.
Mercutio is the example of brutal truth and sarcasm. His character can be considered offensive, because his word choice interprets the truth in a more rude way, just like when he said that the nurse of Juliet is unpleasantly looking:”Good, Peter, to hide her face, for her fan’s the fairer/ face” (2.4.52–53). Literally Mercutio asks Peter, to give the nurse her fan, so she can put it in front of her face, because it is better looking than her. To prove his sarcastic abilities, the insult of Mercutio to the nurse, is indirect. He uses the fan as the “sun that will shine in front of the clouds” and remove the obnoxious background behind it, which is the nurse’s face. Mercutio comments the feelings of Romeo and his abilities, provoked by love, to jump over the orchid wall, so he can meet with Juliet. Benvolio’s concern that Romeo will do something nonessential, which will cause him problems later on, calls Mercutio for help. Mercutio finds Romeo’s actions very hilarious and decides to motivate him to do what he started by saying :“Nay, I’ll conjure too!/ Romeo! Humours, madman, passion, lover!/ Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh!/ Speak but one rhyme, and I am satisfied./ Cry but “Ay me!”/ Pronounce but “love” and “dove” ”(2.1.7–14). Mercutio wants to “conjure” the adventure’s spirit of Romeo, while making fun of his personality, which is very romantic. Mercutio hazes Romeo’s “passion” to rhyme the words so they can sound more mystical and amorous, which concludes the non-ability of Mercutio to be a “lover”.
The character of Mercutio seems dynamic in the play, but it is not. He is very active through the course of the play, but his mindset and communicating doesn’t change. From the beginning of the play until the moment he dies, he continues to be offensive and says whatever he believes in. In act 1, when Mercutio, Benvolio and Romeo enter the scene, Romeo wants to share his deepest thoughts with his best friends, and Mercutio decides that he can have a good time discussing and sharing his own vision of Romeo’s problems. Unfortunately Mercutio’s understanding doesn’t fit with these that Romeo has, and satirizes his problems. He offers to Romeo to” Borrow Cupid’s wings/ And soar with them above a common bound” (1.4.17–18). Mercutio wants to help Romeo and tell him that it isn’t good for him to fall in love so fast and so deep and to dream of things that occupy his mind. The character of Mercutio used the “Cupid’s wings” as a metaphor that symbolises love, since the cupid is the mythical creature that shoots at people with its magic arrows to make them fall in love and then flies back in heaven. The “common bound’ that Mercutio uses in this quote describes the loose mind that Romeo has, that allows him to change his focus from one woman to another and fall in love with her, from first sigh. The Shakespearean character continues to act the same way later on in the scene and as a result, Benvolio reacts to his attitude by saying the words”Peace, peace Mercutio, peace!/ Thou talk’est of nothing”(1.4.97–98) in order to tell him to stop, because Mercutio wants to protect Romeo from dreaming to much, but his explosive, furious character come in action.
Mercutio acts as the guardian of the Montague family, who is ready to defend them in every kind of situation. He wants to justify his personality and beliefs by opposing the argument of Romeo, that there is no conflict between the Capulets and Montagues. Mercutio wants to take “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”(3.1.48–50). Essentially Mercutio words can be described as killing Tybalt once and the other eight lives that he has got will be beaten to death. The author uses the metaphor “Good King of Cats”(3.1.48) to personify Tybalt as a cat that has nine lives and Mercutio thirst for his death is greater than killing him once. The fight scene, later on, ends with the unfortunate death of Mercutio. Romeo tries to stop the fight between Tybalt and Mercutio and meanwhile Tybalt reaches and stabs Mercutio under Romeo’s arm. While Mercutio laying on the ground curses both families with the words “A plague o’ both your houses!” (3.1.59). Mercutio’s reaction is perfectly adequate, because Romeo interferers his fight, which is key for achieving his own goal-killing Tybalt. Consecutively Romeo takes his revenge and kills Tybalt, but he realises that Mercutio was right for his love with Juliet. The romance between the two lovers is the “forbidden fruit” and its curse will follow them until they cease together “above a common bound”(1.4.18).
In this way, remaining the same, Mercutio continues to demonstrate his expansive character who would do everything to achieve his personal goals, but not being a loyal friend as much as a hero to everyone, by killing Tybalt. The character of Mercutio doesn’t prove the loyalty of the blood pakt, but the path to reaching his own means. Acting as the friend who will do everything for the cause, with no secrets, the climax of the story comes. The moment when Mercutio curses his friends family for not letting him finish what he started.