Romeo and Juliet

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Romeo's close friend, and a kinsmen of Prince Escalus. Mercutio is a wild, antic, and brooding youth. He is a whiz with wordplay and is constantly dropping sexual puns, but beneath this playful and sarcastic veneer lies a bitter world-weariness. Mercutio hates romantic ideals of any sort, whether about honor or love, and mercilessly mocks those who hold them.

Mercutio Quotes in Romeo and Juliet

The Romeo and Juliet quotes below are all either spoken by Mercutio or refer to Mercutio. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Simon & Schuster edition of Romeo and Juliet published in 2004.
Act 1, scene 4 Quotes
Romeo: I dream'd a dream to-night.
Mercutio: And so did I.
Romeo: Well, what was yours?
Mercutio: That dreamers often lie.
Related Characters: Romeo (speaker), Mercutio (speaker)
Page Number: 1.4.53-56
Explanation and Analysis:

Romeo, Benvolio, Mercutio, and several other maskers and torch-bearers are walking through the streets to the Capulet’s household, in order to attend their feast tonight. As they travel, they engage in witty banter that still informs us about the characters’ emotional states – particularly because Romeo seems determined to remain somber and refuse to join in the others’ revelry. Romeo, for instance, divulges that he had a dream which makes him harbor trepidations about attending this feast at all. Romeo’s friend Mercutio, who was actually invited to the feast because he is unrelated to Romeo and the other Montagues, wittily refuses to tolerate Romeo’s attitude. After claiming that he, too, had a dream, Mercutio wittingly says that he learned “that dreamers often lie” in this dream itself. Yet, Mercutio is not merely mocking Romeo here; this comment also alludes to his larger skepticism about love.

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Act 3, scene 1 Quotes
Romeo: Courage, man; the hurt cannot be much.
Mercutio: No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church-door; but 'tis enough, 'twill serve: ask for me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man.
Related Characters: Romeo (speaker), Mercutio (speaker)
Page Number: 3.1.99-102
Explanation and Analysis:

Mercutio receives a wound from Tybalt during their fight, and it is indeed mortal, although Romeo claims it isn't as he attempts to inspire courage in his friend. Mercutio is under no such delusion; his dark pun that he will be a “grave man” tomorrow (a man who is somber or a man who is in a grave) demonstrates his acknowledgment of his true condition. Mercutio is ever the realist, about his own life and about others’ lives. Mercutio will die, and he will become a victim of the feud between the Capulets and Montagues, although he does not belong to either family. This indicates the extent to which these two households’ rivalry affects the larger society of Verona.

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Mercutio Character Timeline in Romeo and Juliet

The timeline below shows where the character Mercutio appears in Romeo and Juliet. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, scene 4
Love Theme Icon
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
Language and Word Play Theme Icon
Romeo, Benvolio, and their friend Mercutio (a kinsmen of Prince Escalus), walk toward the Capulet's ball. Romeo, still melancholy, says he... (full context)
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
Language and Word Play Theme Icon
Mercutio launches into a speech about dreams and Queen Mab, the Queen of Fairies. The speech... (full context)
Act 2, scene 2
Act 2, scene 4
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
Language and Word Play Theme Icon
Benvolio and Mercutio wonder what happened to Romeo the previous night. Benvolio mentions that Tybalt has challenged Romeo... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
Language and Word Play Theme Icon
Romeo appears. Mercutio mockingly compares Rosaline to all the great heroines of classical literature. Romeo and Mercutio then... (full context)
Servants Theme Icon
The Nurse appears, looking for Romeo. For fun, Mercutio compares the Nurse to a prostitute for a while, then goes off with Benvolio to... (full context)
Act 3, scene 1
Fate Theme Icon
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
Language and Word Play Theme Icon
The following day is boiling hot. Benvolio tells Mercutio they should get off the streets: the hot weather is bound to cause hot tempers.... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
Mercutio, furious that Romeo refuses to stand up for himself, challenges Tybalt. They draw their swords... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
...says to himself that love for Juliet has made him "effeminate." Tybalt returns. Romeo avenges Mercutio by fighting and killing Tybalt. As the Watch and Prince Escalus approach, Romeo flees. (full context)
Act 2, scene 1
Love Theme Icon
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
Instead of leaving the party with Benvolio and Mercutio, Romeo jumps the wall into the Capulet garden to try to find Juliet. Benvolio and... (full context)