According to Romeo in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet,what sort of youth is Mercutio?
First, it is clear from the text that Romeo has a deep affection for Mercutio who is, it is clear, his best friend. When Tybalt kills Mercutio, Romeo is so overcome with rage that he throws aside his love for Juliet to avenge his friend. At the same time, Romeo believes (correctly, it seems) that Mercutio is a sort of anti-romantic who cannot understand the depths of his love for Juliet. "He," Romeo says after a bit of ribbing from his friend, "jests at scars that never felt a wound." From his frequent ribald jokes, it is clear that Mercutio is a bit of a rake who views love in sexual terms. Romeo seems to realize this, even if Mercutio has a point when he mocks Romeo for his moping over his unrequited love for Rosaline. Romeo is also aware, as is the audience, of his friend's propensity for talking. Mercutio never shuts up, and Romeo tells him at the end of his famous Queen Mab speech in the first act that he "talk'st of nothing." In perhaps his most telling quote about Mercutio, Romeo describes his friend to the Nurse as
A gentleman, nurse, that loves to hear himself talk and will speak more in a minute than he will stand to in a month.