How are Benvolio and Mercutio dramatic foils for Romeo?

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In literature, a dramatic foil is a character who either has major contradictions or similarities when compared to the main character in either character traits or circumstance. The purpose of a foil is to highlight the main character's traits or circumstances so that the reader can better understand the main character.

In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, both Mercutio and Benvolio are character foils for Romeo. Romeo and Mercutio are opposites. Mercutio is really a skeptic and doubts many things, while Romeo is a romantic and is very serious. Mercutio often pokes fun at his friend and is light-hearted, while Romeo is easily upset.

Benvolio and Romeo are also opposites in the fact that Benvolio is much more level-headed about love and often looks out for his cousin, Romeo, by telling him that there...

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rhondan57 | Student

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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