Mercutio - a Monodimensional and Static Character in Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet"?

1727 Words Mar 22nd, 2012 7 Pages
Discuss Mercutio in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in terms of character dimension, character development and his relation to major themes of the play.

When looking at the content of characters in Shakespeare’s play „Romeo and Juliet“ one can find a total of 21 people that are mentioned by name. While it is self-evident that characters such as Romeo and Juliet are essential to the play due to the fact that they form its title, a reader could ask what role the others might play in a literary context. Which functions apply to which characters, who has a major and who a minor role? Is the character shown as a mono- or a multidimensional figure in the play? Which character could one even surrender because he or she does not in any way lead
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Tybalt is not only witty and mocking, he is even provocative and challenging. Both characteristics can be seen as extreme forms of wit and mockery.
At first, Tybalt declines to fight Mercutio, since the opponent he is primarily interested in is Romeo. Shortly after, Romeo appears and refuses to pick up the fight with Tybalt, which gives Mercutio the opportunity to pursue his desire to fight his rival nonetheless. He is however badly wounded by Tybalt and dies after a short while. Before he dies, Mercutio still cannot be grave, as it would not apply to his personality. Even then, he makes jokes – in this case he mocks his own upcoming death: “Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man.” (III, I, 98) and “A plague o’both your houses, They have made worms’ meat of me.” (III, I, 108)
All this evidence given in the text show Mercutio’s main characteristics: he is funny, witty and mocking, even provoking. Other character traits aren’t directly shown in the text. Since all these character traits mainly contribute to one essential characteristic, Mercutio is a flat and monodimensional character rather than a multidimensional character. Shakespeare focuses on Mercutio’s witty and funny side and does not reveal other aspects since they would not drive the action of the play forward.

The text-based evidence that shows that Mercutio is a monodimensional rather than a multidimensional character can also

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