How are Benvolio and Mercutio dramatic foils for Romeo?
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Romeo is the ultimate "head in the clouds" lover. He moons over Rosaline, then he completely loses it over Juliet. He is the incurable romantic.
Benvolio is the voice of reason. He's the one who tries to remind Romeo that there are other fish in the sea when Romeo is depressed over Rosaline. He's also the one who tries to calm down violent situations, like the fights between the Capulets and the Montagues.
Mercutio is the hot-blooded cynic toward romance. He uses bawdier (sexual) humor in discussing females, almost as if that is his only use for women. He is markedly different from Romeo, who has a romantic ideal in his head concerning love.
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Romeo is self-absorbed and romantic. Mercutio seems to have negative feelings toward love. Benvolio is always looking out for others. He thinks before he acts and he is also the peace maker in the play.
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