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What evidence in the play can be interpreted as Mercutios Essay

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What evidence in the play can be interpreted as Mercutio’s affections toward Romeo being more than platonic? Discuss. ‘Romeo and Juliet’ a tragic romance written by William Shakespeare depicts the love between the two characters Romeo and Juliet. Other forms of love between characters are also present in the play, one of the most notable being the ambiguous relationship between Romeo and his flamboyant best friend Mercutio.

Through a series of character interactions and character portrayals, Mercutio’s sexuality is left indistinct and his affections towards Romeo can be seen as homoerotic in nature. Romeo and Mercutio have a tendency to tease and banter with each other throughout the play. Mercutio’s teasing in particular could be interpreted as a form of homoerotism considering the large amounts of innuendo and references to Romeo’s phallus used. “To raise a spirit in his mistress’ circle Of some strange nature, letting it there stand Till she had laid it and conjured it down;” (Act 2, scene 1)

Though this type of banter could be interpreted as normal amongst men their age, due to Mercutio’s ambiguous sexual orientation, it can be considered a form of flirting, especially when you take into consideration Mercutio’s attestment for the opposite gender and love between a man and a woman. Early on in the play, Mercutio is shown to have an aversion to women as well as heterosexual love. One of the clearest examples of Mercutio’s hostility towards women is shown in act 2, scene one when Benvolio and Mercutio are searching for Romeo after the party at the Capulets.

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“I must conjure him. I conjure thee by Rosaline’s bright eyes, By her high forehead and her scarlet lip, By her fine foot, straight leg and quivering thigh And the demesnes that there adjacent lie, That in thy likeness thou appear to us! ”(Act 2, scene 1) Mercutio starts mocking Romeo’s feelings for Rosaline as well as insulting her by listing her body parts in a crude manner. Mercutio’s aversion towards women and love is also quite prominent in his Queen Mab speech which outside of being a ‘fairy’ is also a reference to whores during Elizabethan times. The speech starts off as more of a flight of fancy but steadily becomes darker the further he gets.

“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: This is she–” (Act 1, scene 4) This passage could be interpreted as women losing their virginities as well as going into prostitution. Mercutio makes a stab at women through generalising them as whores, as well as stating how love is insignificant, nonsensical and corrupting. This is shown through the emphasis on Queen Mab’s small size, the fairy’s ability to confirm what ever vices that dreamers are addicted to and how the description of Queen Mab itself is complete nonsense.

His aversion to women and heterosexual love could be interpreted as a sign of homosexuality, or at the very least bisexuality; Mercutio’s disrespect for the opposite gender is shown to be indiscriminate when involving matters in concern to Romeo. All women that Mercutio is seen interacting with or acknowledging in the play are insulted and ridiculed by him; the fact that they have all wanted Romeo’s company or have been subjected to Romeo’s affections is what they all have in common.

“NURSE If you be he, sir, I desire some confidence with you. … MERCUTIO A bawd, a bawd, a bawd! so ho! ROMEO What hast thou found? MERCUTIO No hare, sir; unless a hare, sir, in a lenten pie, that is something stale and hoar ere it be spent. An old hare hoar, And an old hare hoar, Is very good meat in lent But a hare that is hoar Is too much for a score, When it hoars ere it be spent. Romeo, will you come to your father’s? we’ll to dinner, thither. ” (Act 2, Scene 4)

In this scene, Mercutio is shown to immediately interrupt the conversation between the other two characters once Romeo has lost interest in teasing the nurse, and the nurse has shown interest in conversing with him in private. Mercutio’s insults and teasing become bawdier as he tries to draw the groups attention and in turn Romeo’s attention towards him rather than the nurse as he continues to mock her. This act could be seen as an adverse reaction to the possibility of Romeo romancing another woman, or even the possibility of him romancing the nurse herself.

A similar attitude is taken up by Mercutio concerning other women in Romeo’s life, as shown with Rosaline. The callous and unseemly way that Mercutio treats women who associate with Romeo could be seen as a form of jealousy, and thus his possible homoerotic affections for his best friend; characters such as Tybalt make allusions to the possibility of Mercutio’s non-platonic affections towards Romeo right before the play’s climax. Mercutio’s death scene, aside from being the climax of the play, has the most allusions to Mercutio’s affections towards Romeo being more than platonic.

“Mercutio, thou consort’st with Romeo” (Act 3, scene 1) This line spoken by Tybalt suggests the possibility of Mercutio’s homosexuality. Tybalt starts insulting a passive Romeo which results in a brawl between Mercutio and Tybalt, stemming from Mercutio’s need to defend his friend’s dignity and outrage at Romeo’s unresponsiveness to the insults. The brawl between the two, along with Mercutio’s resulting death, is seen as completely unnecessary as Tybalt is making no direct insult to Mercutio’s person, only Romeo’s.

The need that Mercutio had felt to defend Romeo’s dignity could be seen as the manifestation of romantic feelings towards his best friend due to how unnecessarily far he’d taken his brawl with Tybalt and how it had resulted in his death. Through these series of events and character interaction such as Mercutio’s teasing of Romeo, his aversion to women, love, senseless death borne out of want to defend Romeo’s dignity and the possibility of him being homosexual, that Mercutio’s love for Romeo could be concluded as being more than just platonic. ________________ ROMEO AND JULIET ESSAY- VERSION 2.

What evidence in the play can be interpreted as Mercutio’s affections toward Romeo being more than platonic? Discuss. ‘Romeo and Juliet’, a tragic romance written by William Shakespeare, depicts the love between the two characters Romeo and Juliet. Other forms of love between characters are also present in the play, one of the most notable being the ambiguous relationship between Romeo and his flamboyant best friend Mercutio. Through a series of character interactions and character portrayals, Mercutio’s sexuality is left indistinct and his affections towards Romeo can be seen as homoerotic in nature.

Romeo and Mercutio have a tendency to tease and banter with each other throughout the play. Mercutio’s teasing in particular could be interpreted as a form of homoerotism considering the large amounts of innuendo and references to Romeo’s phallus used. Said references to Romeo’s phallus appear when Mercutio, in an attempt lure Romeo out of hiding, begins to talk of Romeo raising ‘a spirit in his mistress’ circle’ and ‘letting it there stand / Till she [Rosaline] had laid it and conjured it down’ (William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 1, Line 26).

Though this type of banter could be interpreted as normal amongst men their age, due to Mercutio’s ambiguous sexual orientation it can be considered a form of flirting, especially when you take into consideration Mercutio’s attestment for the opposite gender and love between a man and a woman Early on in the play, Mercutio is shown to have and aversion to women as well as heterosexual love. One of the clearest examples of Mercutio’s hostility towards women is shown in when Benvolio and Mercutio are searching for Romeo after the party at the Capulets.

Mercutio starts mocking Romeo’s feelings for Rosaline as well as insulting her by listing her body parts in a crude manner. He describes her ‘ fine foot, straight leg and quivering thigh’ (Act 2, Scene 1, Line 21) amongst other body parts considered uncouth to talk about during his time period. Mercutio’s aversion towards women and love is also quite prominent in his Queen Mab speech which outside of being a ‘fairy’ is also a reference to whores during Elizabethan times. The speech starts off as more of a flight of fancy but steadily becomes darker the further he gets.

Mercutio makes references to women losing their virginities and going into prostitution when he talks of ‘when maids lie on their backs / That presses them and learns them first to bear’ (Act 1, Scene 4, Line 96). Mercutio makes a stab at women through generalising them as whores, as well as stating how love is insignificant, nonsensical and corrupting. This is shown through the emphasis on Queen Mab’s small size, the fairy’s ability to confirm what ever vices that dreamers are addicted to and how the description of Queen Mab itself is complete nonsense.

His aversion to women and heterosexual love could be interpreted as a sign of homosexuality, or at the very least bisexuality; Mercutio’s disrespect for the opposite gender is shown to be indiscriminate when involving matters in concern to Romeo. All women that Mercutio is seen interacting with or acknowledging in the play are insulted and ridiculed by him; the fact that they have all wanted Romeo’s company or have been subjected to Romeo’s affections is what they all have in common. In the second act, Juliet’s nurse approaches Romeo and expresses her interest in speaking with him alone.

Mercutio, seeing that Romeo had lost interest in teasing the nurse, instantly interrupts the conversation by calling the nurse ‘a bawd’ (Act 2, Scene 4, Line 115), followed by an indecent song on a girl who prostitutes herself. Mercutio’s insults and teasing become bawdier as he tries to draw the group’s, and in turn Romeo’s, attention towards him rather than the nurse as he continues to mock her. This act could be seen as an adverse reaction to the possibility of Romeo romancing another woman, or even the possibility of him romancing the nurse herself.

A similar attitude is taken up by Mercutio concerning other women in Romeo’s life, as shown with Rosaline. The callous and unseemly way that Mercutio treats women who associate with Romeo could be seen as a form of jealousy, and thus his possible homoerotic affections for his best friend; characters such as Tybalt make allusions to the possibility of Mercutio’s non-platonic affections towards Rome right before the play’s climax. Mercutio’s death scene, aside from being the climax of the play, has the most allusions to Mercutio’s affections towards Romeo being more than platonic.

Tybalt suggests the possibility of Mercutio’s homosexuality when he says that Mercutio ‘consort’st with Romeo’ (Act 3, Scene 1, Line 42). Tybalt starts insulting a passive Romeo which results in a brawl between Mercutio and Tybalt, stemming from Mercutio’s need to defend his friend’s dignity and outrage at Romeo’s unresponsiveness to the insults. The brawl between the two, along with Mercutio’s resulting death, is seen as completely unnecessary as Tybalt is making no direct insult to Mercutio’s person, only Romeo’s.

The need that Mercutio had felt to defend Romeo’s dignity could be seen as the manifestation of romantic feelings towards his best friend due to how unnecessarily far he’d taken his brawl with Tybalt and how it had resulted in his death. Through these series of events and character interaction such as Mercutio’s teasing of Romeo, his aversion to women, love, senseless death borne out of want to defend Romeo’s dignity and the possibility of him being homosexual, that Mercutio’s love for Romeo could be concluded as being more than just platonic.

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