To what extent is Mercutio responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The answer to this question is subject to the feelings and thoughts of individual audience members or readers. You are certainly welcome to argue that Mercutio should share some of the blame for the eventual deaths of both Romeo and Juliet. A person could argue that had Mercutio not fought Tybalt, he wouldn't have died. If Mercutio didn't die, then Romeo wouldn't kill Tybalt for revenge. If Romeo didn't kill Tybalt, then Romeo wouldn't be banished and cause events to spiral out of control. Personally, I don't agree with that reasoning. If Mercutio is partly to blame, then I also think it is appropriate to blame the weather. If the weather wasn't hot, Mercutio wouldn't have been stirring for a fight.

The day is hot, the Capulets abroad.
And if we meet, we shall not scape a brawl,
For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.

If Mercutio gets some of the blame, then I think Benvolio deserves as much of the blame as well. He convinces Romeo to go to the banquet. If that didn't happen, then...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 702 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team