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Romeo and Juliet

In: English and Literature

Submitted By dan372
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Analysis

Once melancholy and depressed by his passions, Romeo is now revitalised, buoyed by a renewed romantic energy after seeing Juliet at her balcony. Thoughts of his impending marriage have enlivened him to meet all of Mercutio's barbed, verbal challenges with equally gilded retorts. An air of excited anticipation energizes the atmosphere. Mercutio continues to ridicule Romeo as a Petrarchan lover for employing the popular love poetry of the sonnets. However, his speech is ironic because he still believes that Romeo is in love with Rosaline, and he never discovers Romeo's love for Juliet. These rapid, highly energized exchanges between the two friends reflect Romeo's own feelings of anticipation at his forthcoming wedding.

Mercutio, who has little patience for the emotional aspects of romantic pursuit, is delighted that Romeo has gotten over his lovesickness. Mercutio impishly engages in lewd wordplay and is preoccupied with the physical aspects of love. When Benvolio declares a truce in the talk between the two friends, Mercutio turns his verbal rapier on the Nurse, flustering her to distraction.

This mischievous repartee contrasts with the darkly ominous threats of Tybalt's challenge to duel Romeo. As in other parts of the play, vastly contrasting ideas coexist — love and hate; euphoria and despair; good and evil; levity and danger.

The news of Tybalt's challenge threatens to embroil Romeo in the violence of the family feud. While Romeo is well-liked in the community and has a peaceable reputation, Tybalt is a proud and vengeful foe. He is determined to confront Romeo despite Lord Capulet's opposition to continuing the feud. Although Capulet has forbidden any further violence, he remains the figurehead of the old conflict. "Fiery" Tybalt is Capulet's heir-apparent in carrying on the hostility since both men are quick-tempered and ready for a battle...

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