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 are many women to love. He also makes sure that his cousin is safe and is frequently telling Romeo's parents about his whereabouts. Benvolio is a foil because his level-headedness in contrast Romeo's...
(The entire section contains 3 answers and 550 words.)