In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, how would Mercutio's character be described?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mercutio takes on a few roles in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. His first role might be one of a joker or clever wit. He laughs and jokes at life because he doesn't take it too seriously. On the other hand, Mercutio seems to bring a sense of wisdom that opposes Romeo's melancholy wanderings and bemoanings. He is a loyal friend to Romeo because he defends his honor to the death. One might argue that Mercutio is like a big brother to Romeo or a source of conscience for a young friend. Mercutio is not afraid to speak his mind in front of friend or foe, either, which places him as a strong figure in the play who is not to dismissed or overlooked.