I am doing a play in school, Romeo and Juliet, and I want to be Mercutio. How should I act?

Expert Answers
appletrees eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Romeo and Juliet is a very emotionally intense play, although many of its characters are very young. Mercutio is one of Romeo's closest friends, and often teases Romeo about his impulsiveness where girls are concerned. But Mercutio is also impulsive and lets his impulses get the best of him. He is also very intelligent and witty, and this is obvious in his long speech about Queen Mab. It's rather obvious that he is showing off his verbal wit and knowledge in this speech, so it makes sense to play Mercutio as someone who is proud and maybe even arrogant.

Many of Shakespeare's characters have names whose meaning mirror their qualities; in Mercutio's case, his name is related to the planet or god Mercury, a god of communication and merchandise, fast movement and flight. Mercurio's hyper-verbal way of talking and his manic mannerisms are hinted at when Romeo says "Peace, thou talk'st of nothing." Mercutio's impulsive nature proves to be his downfall, so in playing him it is important to portray someone who acts before he thinks.