Romeo & Juliet Character Profiles

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Romeo: The son of Montague, Romeo is first introduced to us as a sad, melancholic, apathetic youth. His reason for sadness is universal; Rosaline his love will not return his affections. Not initially daring, it is his friends Mercutio and Benvolio who suggest he gatecrash or arrive uninvited at the Capulet party to see Rosaline. There he meets Juliet falling instantly in love. From this point on, Romeo no longer is melancholic, but dynamic and courageous, risking his life at the Capulet's house to be near Juliet and later breaking a banishment order which threatens death for him, to see his Juliet again. Well regarded even by Capulet, his enemy, Romeo is a thoughtful man, unwilling to provoke fighting unlike the hot-blooded, adversarial Tybalt, whom he kills. Romeo also kills Paris but in both encounters sought to avoid fighting, winning only to defend his life. At the end of the play, he commits suicide, rather than live without Juliet, the ultimate display of loyalty for his love Juliet since his life obviously no longer had meaning without her...

Mercutio: Kinsman to the Prince, Mercutio displays a fine if disrespectful tongue, especially towards Juliet's nurse. An unlikely source of wisdom, he tells a depressed Romeo to, "Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down" meaning Romeo should be rough with love if it is rough with him, and to regain his enthusiasm for love (Act I, Scene IV, Line 28) . Mercutio meets his death in Act III, Scene I when he rashly draws his sword on Tybalt who had been trying unsuccessfully to provoke Romeo into fighting. Famous for the words, "a scratch, a scratch; marry, 'tis enough" which describe his fatal wound by Tybalt, Mercutio's death results in Tybalt's death when Romeo avenges the death of his friend (Line 98). It has been argued in some literary circles that Mercutio was "removed" as he was increasingly stealing the show from Romeo, the lead character (with Juliet) in this play...

Benvolio: Nephew to Montague,...
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