Mercutio is a kinsman to the prince and friend to Romeo. Mercutio is often interpreted as a comic foil to Romeo. (A foil is a character who by strong contract underscores or enhances the distinctive qualities of another character.) Mercutio's bawdy discussions of sex, for example, and his witty and light-hearted use of language contrast sharply with Romeo's romantic view of love and his gloomy lovesickness. It will be helpful in understanding Mercutio to look at some words related to his name: mercurial, an adjective meaning changeable; Mercury, the Roman messenger god and of eloquence;...
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