What is ironic about Mercutio's lines in Act 2 Scene 1? Lines 17-21
In this scene, Romeo, Mercutio and Benvolio have just fled the party in haste, for fear of being caught. At the last minute, Romeo turns and runs back toward the palace, leaping the wall into Juliet's garden.
Neither Benvolio nor Mercutio know why Romeo went back inside, but both likely presume it was to fight. Mercutio here thinks he is being very clever, to entice Romeo back out with the idea of getting his mind off fighting, and onto a girl. The irony is two-fold. First of all, he chooses the wrong girl (Rosaline instead of Juliet). Secondly, by crassly naming off different body parts (partly done in Mercutio's crass humor), he is attempting to appeal to the only side of Romeo that would take his mind off fighting. If Romeo could actually hear Mercutio at this point, such an appeal would only encourage him further in the direction he is headed.
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