Mercutio, with his quick wit, clever mind, constant jokes and very likeable personality appears to be the jester of the play. However, with his savage words, Mercutio undermines the romance and self love within the play. He mocks everyone; Romeo’s self-indulgence as much as Tybalt’s arrogance and fashion-sense. His speeches are long and ridiculous, however they reveal ability to present a witty argument and entertain the audience with his language skills. The audience naturally loves him, and he often steals the show from Romeo, the main character. He can also be described as the fighter of the group, as although he tries to paint Benvolio as violent, it is clear where Benvolio prefers to ignore Tybalt and keep the peace, Mercutio faces the Capulets. When Tybalt insults Romeo and Romeo does not react, Mercutio jumps in and takes up Tybalt’s challenge, insulting him until Tybalt impales him with his sword. Even when he is dying, Mercutio cannot resist a joke, still quipping “Ask for me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man” (III, i, 93-94). He is the comic relief of the play, and when he dies the comic element goes with him, and the mood darkens as it leads to the final scenes.
Romeo is the son of Montague, and is introduced as a sad and emotional teenager. He is constantly longing for his love, Rosaline, to return his affections. He is almost always depicted outside, rather than in the Montague mansion. This represents the independence and freedom he has due to his status, gender and wealth in the Italian society. When his friends, Benvolio and Mercutio invite him to gatecrash a Capulet party to see Rosaline, his character suddenly changes. He meets Juliet and falls instantly in love, revealing that he is very rash and does not analyze or think about what he is doing. It appears he cannot do anything in moderation and his character displays emotional and extreme behaviour.
He now shows motivation and bravery, risking his life...