Romeo and Juliet is one of the most well known stories ever written. Shakespeare had know idea just how famous this play would become years after he was dead. Romeo and Juliet has had countless essays written about it but few to none of them have covered the angle I will discuss in this paper. It is my belief that Romeo loved Mercutio, as his best friend, as much as he loved Juliet. Romeo may have had a greater love for Juliet but had Mercutio not been killed romeo would not have taken his own life.
First I must establish that Romeo did love both of them, Juliet first. Romeo’s actions at the Party in the Capulet mansion prove that he loves her, in a way, more that he does his family and friends, because he pays no attention to them after he first lays eyes on Juliet. Romeo spends the entire party with Juliet and neglects his family and friends. Even after the party when he knows that she is of the house on Capulet and his cousins and friends are leaving Romeo still pursues Juliet when the party is over and talks to her beneath her windowsill. When Juliet is talking to her-self romeo overhears her as she utters this:
Juliet: Take [Romeo] and cut him out into little stars, And he will make the face of heaven so fine That all the world will be in love with night And pay no worship to the garrish sun. (III.ii.23-6)
“Here Romeo, transformed into shimmering immortality, becomes the very definition of light, outshining the sun itself. However, despite all the aforementioned positive references to light in the play, it ultimately takes on a negative role, forcing the lovers to part at dawn (Mabillard).”
... I believe that the story of Romeo and Juliet is a story of Love, Conflict, and Suicide. Romeo and Juliet's love for each other was bigger ... people were Romeo, Juliet, Juliet's Nurse, and Friar Lawrence. This made it even harder for the both of them, as they loved each ... Romeo & his friends went as gatecrashers to the party, and there he saw Juliet, she is what I like to call, his "forbidden love." ...
Possibly the most evident display of love that Romeo showed was when he stood between Mercutio and Tybalt to stop them from fighting. The situation that the two apposing families were in put them at eachother’s throats every time their paths crossed. Romeo knew that Tybalt was the cousin of Juliet and so, when Mercutio was iritating Tybalt, he wanted to prevent a fight that he would have supported in the past.
I must also speak of the love that Romeo had for his best friend, Mercutio. Not knowing that he would meet Juliet at the party that night Romeo was reluctant to attend. Mercutio wanted Romeo to join them and out of love and trust for Mercutio Romeo went to the party. Before entering the party Mercutio again tested Romeo’s trust in giving him a drug to alter the mind. Romeo again did not want to but took the drug out of his love for his best friend. Above all the most powerful display of love for Mercutio came after he was dead. Act III scene I marks the death of Romeo’s best friend by a fatal cut from the Capulet, Tybalt. After seeing his friend fall to the ground Romeo questions his friend on the sevarity of his injury. Mercutio was a smart man and even in his last moments he made jokes of the situation.
Mercutio: No, ’tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door; but ’tis enough: ’twill serve: ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man.
“How fine an effect the wit and raillery habitual to Mercutio, even struggling with his pain, give to Romeo’s following speech, and at the same time so completely justifying his passionate revenge on Tybalt! (Coleridge ).”
Just before he died Mercutio left Romeo with half the guilt for his death.
Mercutio: You have made worms meat of me, a plague on both your houses. A plague on both your HOUSES!!
Juliet’s cousin, Tybalt, killed Mercutio, and without a second thought to the feelings of Juliet, Romeo in turn slayed Tybalt for the blood of Mercutio. After Mercutio’s death, Romeo turned this love for his friend into a hatred for his killer. In truth, the love that Romeo had for Juliet could not cause him to love Tybalt. Romeo loved Mercutio enough to kill his killer and so he chased after, and killed, Tybalt, who fled the scene upon Mercutio’s death.
... such as Lady Montague, Mercutio and Tybalt. Tybalt is a character from the Capulet family who, like Romeo and Juliet, allows emotions to dominate ... incident is the guarantee of his near death. If Romeo hadn't killed him for killing Mercutio later on, the Prince would have had ... with Juliet, he found himself very lonely at her apparent death. He saw no other option other than that to kill himself. ...
After Romeo killed Tybalt the Capulet family wanted Romeo put to death. The officer of the law knew that Tybalt had killed Mercutio earlier and found Romeo’s actions to be just. The Capulet family felt that Romeo was getting away with mureder and they insisted that Romeo be banneshed from Verona.
At the time of Mercutio’s death Romeo is already married to Juliet but her parents are expecting her to marry the nobleman Paris. Of coarse Juliet does not want tomarry paris and has almost know way to prevent it. In desparation Juliet seeks the councel of the Friar that had Romeo and Juliet married
Friar Lawrence, an expert in herbal medicines and potions, gives Juliet a potion and a plan: the potion will put her in a death-like coma for two and forty hours; she is to take it before her marriage to Prince, and when discovered dead, she will be laid in the family crypt. Meanwhile, the Friar will send a messenger to inform Romeo so that he can rejoin her when she awakes. The two can then leave for Mantua and live happily ever after. Juliet takes the potion, and things proceed as planned. Unfortunately, the Friar’s messenger is unable to reach Romeo due to Mantua being under quarantine, and Romeo learns only of Juliet’s supposed “death” through a family servant. When Romeo returns to morn Juliet she is still in a coma and he kills himself. When Juliet awakes she finds Romeo dead and she too kills herself.
I said I would prove to you that Romeo would not have killed himself if Mercutio was alive and here are the reasons why. Romeo was banished for his murder of Tybalt and thus separated from Juliet. Because of Mercutio’s death Romeo had greater longing to see his new bride after he was banished. “If Mercutio hadn’t jumped into a fight with Tybalt, he wouldn’t have been killed . . . Tybalt and Romeo probably wouldn’t have fought, Tybalt wouldn’t have been killed, and Romeo wouldn’t have been banished (novelguide.com).”
... an excuse by characters when they make mistakes. Romeo Acknowledges fate’s part in Tybalt’s death “o I am fortunes fool” however he ... them, pulling the strings and driving Romeo to kill Tybalt. All the main characters in Rome and Juliet are aware the role fate plays ... actions. When Romeo takes revenge on Tybalt for the murder of Mercutio, he feels someone must die to pay for the death “Either thou ...
Romeo never got to apologize to Juliet for the killing of her cousin. “While avenging Mercutio, Romeo should have thought about the consequences of slaying Tybalt. On one hand he filled the urge to kill the man who had killed his friend. On the other hand he killed his wife’s cousin (Jaipur).” When Romeo looked at Juliet and she appeared dead he had not yet cleared his conscious for the murder he had done. This too has a heavy burden for him to bear and also attributed to his suicide.
Moreover Mercutio was Romeo’s best friend and friends meant a lot in that time especially to the two apposing families. The guilt that Mercutio laid uppon Romeo just before his death was alone enough to make Romeo commit suicide.
If Mercutio had not been killed Romeo would not have taken his own life at the church where Juliet laid, appearing dead. After hearing of her death the first person Romeo would have seen would have been Mercutio because he was his best friend. Most likely Romeo would have returned to the church much later that night and with Mercutio at his side he would have found her alive and awaiting him.
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor Romeo and Juliet Tempest Critique
Jaipur LLC. Catastrophes in Romeo and Juliet Copyright © 2005 All rights reserved.
Mabillard, Amanda. An Analysis of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.