Describe the character of Mercutio and the role he plays in this work. Why is he an audience favorite, and why is his death so important to the plot? One of the major characters in "Romeo and Juliet" is only alive for half of the play.

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Mercutio may be the prince's relative, but he aligns himself with Romeo and the Montagues. Mercutio is a dramatic counterpart to the nurse. He is Romeo's confidant and a source of bawdy humor in sharp contrast to Romeo's heavy love-sick dialogue.

Mercutio is a source of foreshadowing when he wonders aloud, "Where the devil should this Romeo be?" (II.4.1) He gives the audience hints about the next events in the play. This shows the audience that Mercutio has already lost Romeo to Juliet.

Mercutio is something of a counterweight to Romeo's being in-love. Mercutio turns Romeo's love into the simple desire for sex. And, in some versions of the play, Mercutio and the nurse's puns have been edited to be less bawdy (David Garrick felt himself obliged to remove as much obscenity from the play as possible.) Mercutio does poke holes in the dramatic self-love exhibited by Romeo and Juliet as well as Tybalt's adherance to fashion. Mercutio is the common sense and balance in the play.

Mercutio is a wit even to...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 597 words.)

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