& # 8220 ; Romeo And Juliet & # 8221 ; An Essay, Research Paper
Shakespeare s & # 8220 ; Romeo and Juliet & # 8221 ; and Mercutio s Queen Mab Speech At the clip Mercutio makes his celebrated & # 8220 ; Queen Mab & # 8221 ; address in Shakespeare s Romeo and Juliet, he and Romeo, together with a group of their friends and kinsmen, are on the manner to a party givenby their household s arch-enemy, Lord Capulet. Their program is to crash the party so that Romeo may havethe chance to see his current love, Rosaline, whom they know has been invited to the Capulet smasque that flushing. Romeo, whom his friends seem to see by and large really witty and merriment, originally thought theparty-crashing would be a fantastic thought, but all of a sudden is overcome by a sense of great premonition ; although they & # 8220 ; mean good in traveling to this mask. . . Ti no humor to travel & # 8221 ; ( I, iv, 48-49 ) . This annoysMercutio, who does non acknowledge Romeo s reluctance as a echt foreboding, but feels it issimply another illustration of Romeo s lovesick caprices. Romeo tries to explicate to Mercutio that it isbased upon a really distressing dream, and Mercutio passes that off as silly, stating him that & # 8220 ; Dreamersoften lie. & # 8221 ; Here he is non stating that Romeo himself is a prevaricator, but that people should set no religion indreams. But Romeo is repetitive ; dreamers lie & # 8220 ; in bed asleep, they do woolgather things true & # 8221 ; ( I, iv, 52 ) . This suddenly launches Mercutio into a address that alters the full gait of the scene. Up to now, the conversation has been typical of a group of people walking through the streets short phrases, agenerally relaxed temper. With Mercutio s words, & # 8220 ; O, so I see Queen Mab hath been with you! & # 8221 ; heplunges into a 42 line address which is really composed of merely two sentences, giving himbarely adequate breath to hesitate between phrases. The effect of the address concerns Mab, whom Celticmythology considered to be the accoucheuse of the faeries, and who besides is held to be responsible forhuman existences dreams. The Queen Mab address is wholly notional, depicting, as if to a kid, this bantam small animal who fliesthrough the air in a little passenger car, driven by a & # 8220 ; wagoner & # 8221 ; who is a gnat. On the surface this seemslike it should be capturing, but when one boils it down, it isn t capturing at all. For illustration, QueenMab s & # 8220 ; cover & # 8221 ; of her passenger car is made of grasshopper wings, which implies that person must havepulled the grasshopper s wings off to do it. Ditto for the spider s legs which serve as the waggon sspokes, and the riding-whip which is made of a cricket s bone. Mercutio points out that the entireapparatus is non & # 8220 ; half so large as a unit of ammunition small worm / Pricked from the lazy finger of a amah & # 8221 ; but doliving maid s fingers have worms in them? He leaps off the subject of Mab s passenger car, nevertheless, to depict its path. Mab s map isapparently to drive over the kiping signifiers of human existences, and do them to woolgather of thingsappropriate to their station in life. For illustration, she causes attorneies to woolgather of fees, ladies of love, and soldiers of warfare. Here, once more, this sounds notional plenty ; yet he somehow veers off into adeluge of images that are at complete odds with the Sweet, about childly narrative it seemed he wasgoing to state. It is non plenty that soldiers dream of war: they must woolgather of & # 8220 ; cutting foreign pharynxs, /Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades, / Of wellnesss five fathom deep ; and so anon, / Drumsin his ear, at which he starts and aftermaths, / And being therefore frighted swears a supplication or two / Andsleeps once more & # 8221 ; ( I, iv, 83-87 ) . In other words, Mercutio began his address with a revery and endedwith incubuss. Mab does non look like such a cunning small animal now. In a sense, this is how the drama goes, every bit good. Romeo begins by holding a harmless crush ; at the pointin the narrative when Mercutio gives his address, Romeo s infatuation with Rosaline is about to take himto the place of yet another miss, Juliet, with whom he will fall frantically in love. This love matter, nevertheless,
is doomed in every regard. It is doomed non merely because the Montagues and Capulets are
swornenemies ; it is doomed besides because Romeo and Juliet are excessively immature to manage such a violent passionas their love turns out to be. It is non inadvertent that Shakespeare begins this drama by depicting the feud which has separatedVerona in two, and the first scene trades, non with love, but with a street bash. Romeo and Juliet sVerona is a really violent topographic point, and it would be unusual so if these two kids of Veronaexperienced a sweet and soft love. What is merely every bit interesting as Mercutio s address itself is how hysterical he gets while presenting it. Atthe beginning of the scene, when we foremost meet the friends on the manner to the party, Mercutio comesoff as a Swift, wise-cracking jokester. He and Romeo evidently enjoy a close bond, and they enjoyexchanging badgering raillery with one another. They manage to make this even as Romeo insists that he isfar excessively depressed over Rosaline to be good company. The conversation up to Mercutio s fatal “O, so I see Queen Mab hath been with you! ” is moderately light. With those words, the full temper alterations ; it is about as if a rock, set at the top of a hill, has beenloosed, and it additions momentum as it plunges downhill. As Mercutio s images become less “cute” andmore obviously dismaying, the beat in Shakespeare s iambic pentameter becomes more impulsive, andShakespeare allows less and less “breathing room” between phrases. By the terminal of the transition, Mercutio is literally galloping through his address. Romeo, the really individual everyone felt neededcheering up, is forced to disrupt Mercutio “Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace! / Thou talkst ofnothing” to quiet him down ( I, iv, 95-96 ) . What has happened? Mercutio likely doesn t even know. But it seems reasonably clear that Mercutiohas caught a good dosage of the premonition that Romeo himself feels, despite the fact that he hasalready dismissed it as silly. The two friends are really near, and it is surely non improbable that theywould be closely attuned to one another s tempers. Whatever the ground, nevertheless, Mercutio shysteria itself serves as a kind of prefiguration of the catastrophe to come. There is a really good ground for seting this address toward the terminal of Act I. It is our debut toMercutio, and it presents him as a charming, sympathetic character, which makes it all the moreheartbreaking when he is killed by the brutal Tybalt subsequently on. Besides, at this minute Romeo is about tomeet Juliet, but as yet has non ; that “consequence yet hanging in the stars” has non shown its lovelyand yet lifelessly face. And, in a really existent sense, the feeling we had when Mercutio began hisspeech that it resembled the loosing of a elephantine bowlder, immersing downhill out of anyone scontrol is replicated in the construction of the drama itself. Here at the terminal of scene four in the first act, inthis last minute before Romeo and Juliet fatefully run into, is the last minute when the rock is stillpoised at the mountaintop. In the following scene it will be let travel, and so there is nil anyone onearth can make to halt it. In this context, Romeo s last words in this scene are enormously important. His sense of apprehension, after Mercutio s unusual behaviour, has deepened instead than diminished, and for the first clip heactually defines what it is he feels: he senses that the events which are about to blossom will ensue in hisdeath the ultimate dreamless slumber. He is, of class, right. The force which Queen Mab will setin gesture that dark are no dreams, but existent. And yet Romeo seems to recognize that there is nil tobe done except face the hereafter forthrightly ; there is no running from it. “But he, that hath the steerage ofmy class, / Direct my canvas! ” ( I, iv, 112-13 ) . His concluding words, “On, lustful gentlemen! ” , are to Mercutioand their other friends, but they might hold been addressed to himself every bit good. It is his passion, hisimpetuosity, his lecherousness, which will spell his day of reckoning all of it foreshadowed in Mercutio s “talk ofdreams.”
Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. New York: Penguin Books USA Inc. , 1960, 1970.