Romeo Juliet Essay Prompt 4

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Camille Murray
Honors English
1 April 2015
Love in Romeo and Juliet: Romeo vs. Mercutio
In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
, Romeo’s views on love contrast completely with those of his friend Mercutio. Romeo is a hopeless romantic who takes love very seriously, while
Mercutio sees it as a joke. This could be because of Romeo’s recurring habit of become too intense with his emotions and Mercutio’s lively, carefree attitude. Presenting these different viewpoints allows the reader the question the very basis of the play: Romeo and Juliet’s love for each other. Love is a theme that affects all of the characters in
Romeo and Juliet differently and causes the characters to act in certain ways. Romeo and Mercutio’s opposing views on love are best shown in Act I Scene 4, when Mercutio and Benvolio are trying to persuade Romeo to crash the
Capulet’s ball. It is shown just how seriously Romeo takes love when he says “I am too sore enpierced with his [Cupid’s] shaft” (1.4.19.). This shows the reader that Romeo has become so consumed with his feelings for Rosaline that he has developed painful feelings of love, this also shows that he believes love is a genuine emotion. Mercutio, on the other hand, finds Romeo’s recent behaviour tiresome and makes fun of Romeo’s ideas of love and the poetic way he speaks of love,
¨Romeo, Humors! Madman! Passion! Lover! Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh, Speak but one rhyme and I am satisfied¨ (2.1.9­11.) In Act I Scene 4, Romeo compares his love for

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Rosaline to a rose with thorns, Mercutio and mocks his use of this cliche metaphor and the way he is so consumed with his love for Rosaline:
Is love a tender thing? it is too rough, Too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like thorn.
If love be rough with you, be rough with love; Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down. (1.4.25­28.) This also shows that Mercutio believes love is something that can be controlled, unlike Romeo who believes fate decides matters such as love.

Romeo and Mercutio are total opposites in most every way. The drastic differences between their personalities are why they view love so differently. Romeo has a much more melancholic and impulsive personality but is also passionate with all of his emotions, especially love. An example of Romeo’s passionate behaviour is shown after
Tybalt kills Mercutio, “
Alive in triumph, and Mercutio slain? / Away to heaven respective lenity, / And fire­eyed fury be my conduct now!” (3.1.122­124.) Romeo turns his passion into murder and kill his own wife’s cousin, not thinking of the problems that could come from his actions. Romeo shows his impulsive personality when she first sees
Juliet at the Capulet’s ball and says
“Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.” (1.5.54­55.) After seeing Juliet once and not having spoken to her, he already believes he is in love with her and has forgotten about Rosaline, who he was obsessed with before coming to the ball. Mercutio has a very lively and carefree personality. While Mercutio is trying to get Romeo to crash the Capulet’s ball,
Romeo is moping over Rosaline and saying he does not want to dance because he is so in love with Rosaline that he feels pain, Mercutio quickly dismisses this saying “Nay, gentle
Romeo, we must have you dance. (1.4.13.) Even when he is dying, Mercutio does not miss the opportunity to make a final pun by saying “Ask for me to­morrow, and you