Mercutio, Tybalt and Nurse Influence in Romeo and Juliet

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Updated: Apr 11, 2019
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In William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet there are several different themes. Tybalt, Mercutio, and Nurse all relate to the theme of the play because they influence Romeo and Juliet in various ways. Tybalt influences Juliet because Tybalt’s death forces her to reconsider her love for Romeo. Mercutio influences Romeo because after his death Romeo is determined to get Tybalt back for what he did to Mercutio. The Nurse influences Juliet because she is the one that brought the news to Juliet about Romeo’s wedding plans. These three characters have a very important role to play. All which relate to the theme of love and loss in different ways.

Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet

Loyal, faithful, skeptic and funny are a few words that describe Mercutio, Romeo’s best friend, in Romeo and Juliet. He is not a Montague or a Capulet. Mercutio is a skeptic guy who imitates the action of love. When Mercutio finds out that his friend, Romeo, is in love with a Capulet, his first thought is to make fun of Romeo. In the play Mercutio says, Romeo, Humors! Madman! Passion! Lover! Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh/ Speak but one rhyme and I am satisfied (Shakespeare, 2.1.7-9) Mercutio also demonstrates skepticism because he doesn’t believe in the idea of love.

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Mercutio is very hateful towards women all the time. At the beginning of the play, Romeo is mad that his love for a woman named Rosaline went totally wrong. Romeo is heartbroken, so Mercutio makes fun of him with cruel lines in the play that talks about Rosaline’s body, I must conjure him. I conjure thee by Rosaline’s bright eyes/ By her high forehead and her scarlet lip/ By her fine foot, straight leg and quivering thigh/ And the demesnes that there adjacent lie/ That in thy likeness thou appear to us (Shakespeare, 2.1.16-21) Mercutio’s cruel speech about Rosaline’s body further shows his skepticism which influences Romeo. Mercutio is a very complex character and his role influences much of how the play progresses.

Who is Tybalt Related to?

Tybalt plays a compelling role as a rather minor character. His quick anger at the party is indicated by the duels in Act III, scene 1. One can sense the anger boiling just below the surface as Tybalt desires to get his pride back while Lord Capulet criticizes him. Tybalt challenges Romeo to a match, but Mercutio steps in instead. He kills Mercutio, but supposedly by accident. Romeo hunts him and kills Tybalt in an intense battle. Tybalt’s death leads to Romeo’s removal. All of these are examples in which Tybalt influences the tragedy parts of the play. Tybalt’s death also affects Juliet, driving the heartbreaking plot further. For Juliet, it forces her to rethink her love for Romeo. Her parents pressure her into marrying Paris, thinking it is her sadness over her cousin Tybalt’s death that keeps her so unhappy, but it isn’t. Tybalt’s role is very compelling because he influences the decisions that lead the main character’s tragic deaths.

How Do the Nurse Impact Romeo and Juliet’s Relationship

The Nurse’s relationship with Juliet focuses on finding Juliet a husband. Unfortunately, the Nurse is a lot like Mercutio, she loves to talk. Her rude remarks to the passionate form of love set the romantic love of Romeo and Juliet apart from the love described by any of the other characters in the play. The Nurse doesn’t understand Juliet’s idea of love at all; for her, love is limited and a physical relationship, so she doesn’t understand the powerful and the mental love Romeo and Juliet share. As soon as the Nurse brings Juliet news of Romeo’s plans to get married, she focuses on the amusements of Juliet’s wedding night, I am the drudge, and toil in your delight/ But you shall bear the burden soon at night (Shakespeare, 2.5.75-76). As a minor character, Nurse serves the role of highlighting the nature of Romeo and Juliet’s relationship.

William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet play highlights the tragedy of love and loss. Mercutio, Tybalt, and Nurse influence the heartbreaking decisions of the main characters, which also moves the story along. We see this in what each character does: The Nurse breaks the news to Juliet about Romeo’s wedding plans; Mercutio steps in when Tybalt challenges Romeo to a duel but dies during the match; and Tybalt’s death forces Juliet to reconsider her love for Romeo. These actions not only stir the plot along but are the driving forces lead to the tragedy that ends the play. Romeo and Juliet lose both their lives and their love.

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Mercutio, Tybalt and Nurse Influence in Romeo and Juliet. (2019, Apr 11). Retrieved from