The Turning Point in Romeo and Juliet: Mercutio's Death

Topics: Romeo and Juliet, Christopher Marlowe, Romeo + Juliet Pages: 4 (1229 words) Published: May 17, 2007
Romeo and Juliet, Which is one of Shakespeare's most popular and well-known plays, is considered by some critics to be the first and greatest example of romantic tragedy. The play looks at two children from feuding families who, upon falling in love, disobay their parents and also there households. Their efforts have terrible results, including the deaths of Tybalt and Mercutio, as well as the tragic death of Romeo and Juliet. Some people, often focus on the main characters. Mercutio's character is very dramatic and tragic as well, as some people feel that his death creates a turning point in the play from comedy to tragedy. Some people say that Romeo and Juliet are self-centered and immature. (see Further Reading), contest the idea that Romeo and Juliet possess flaws that contribute to their fate; Stoll finds that love, destiny, and the feud between the families brings about the deaths of the lovers. Carolyn E. Brown (1996) observes a shift in the critical opinion of Juliet, noting that modern critics have increasingly credited Juliet with being "self-willed," rather than a passive "victim" of her circumstances and fate. Exploring Juliet's depth of character and emerging selfhood, Brown concentrates on Juliet's language in two scenes typically thought of as romantic (Act II, scene ii, the so-called balcony scene, and Act III, scene v, the morning after the consummation), and finds in these scenes and in the falconry imagery they contain an effort on Juliet's part to control Romeo. As Romeo's closest male companion, Mercutio plays a vital role in Romeo and Juliet. Joseph A. Porter (1988) focuses on Mercutio's relationship with Romeo, stressing that in both criticism and in performance, Mercutio's statements about the value of friendship are often underemphasized. Porter locates strains of homosexuality in Mercutio's phallic language, and in the "warmth and urgency" of his friendship with Romeo, and further analyzes how these homosexual suggestions may reflect...
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