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WikiProject Shakespeare (Rated C-class, High-importance)
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Joking swordfight?[edit]

I dont freakin care bout these dumb ass folks believe he's exaggerating the seriousness of the wound, although they recognize its presence. 14:42, 11 April 2007 (UTC) Many movies and theatre productions also like to emphasize this scene. One version I saw had people laughing at him as if he were joking even as he fell down dead. It was a very powerful scene. Wrad 21:19, 23 April 2007 (UTC)


I'm removing the performers section, as it appears to be fake.--Czar Yah 03:14, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

"Reviews of Perrineau's performance were mixed. While some people found his portrayal to be powerful and moving, others believed his performance was too over-the-top and hyperactive." I'm not sure what the relevance of these sentences is. While it may be relevant on Perrineau's page, it seems to lack significance on a page about the character Mercutio. Namely, I'm sure there are thousands of performers whose performance of Mercutio could receive mixed reviews. I'll go ahead and remove the quoted text. --Jbramley 15:06, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Actors: read this[edit]

Just because you played a certain Shakesprarean role in a local theatre doesn't mean that your name deserves to be mentioned on this page. Thousands upon thousands have performed Shakespearean plays in local theatres across the country (and indeed the world) for hundreds of years - we can only afford to put actors of significance on this page. Nothing personal, but it needs to have at least some historical importance.

Mercury Analogy[edit]

This section is generally good, except the portion where it says their closest moment is when Mercution dies, and the subsequent speculation about the planet going too close to the sun. Is this really warranted? In the first place, the two could be closer at any moment during the play--depending on the staging of any one production. I find this comment very unhelpful. Calaf 23:58, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Mercury Analogy[edit]

Someone wrote something regarding Mercutio's relationship to the planet Mercury which was interesting. It said that Mercury is the closest planet that revolves around the sun, and that Romeo is often referred to as the sun. Intruiging as this theoretical metaphor may be, it has no merit because Romeo is NOT referred to as "the sun" - Juliet is. (It is the east, and JULIET is the sun...) I also added Ben Affleck's performace as a Edward Alleyn in Shakespeare in Love - who in turn played Mercutio. I don't particularly like Affleck, but the film won Best Picture, so I consider it a performance of enough importance to merit inclusion on this page. Does anyone disagreee with any of this?

BeastKing89 00:20, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Removed Homosexuality[edit]

There is no professional proof of this. So I removed it. -- 21:30, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Well, I found some. So I put it back in. --BeastKing89 22:16, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

what is the proof? All there is is speculation that someone who uses innuendo is necessarily gay, which makes no sense at all.

The paper cited is a school essay, so is not really the most credible thing (I myself write many papers with a claim that is completely off just so that I can catch the teacher's attention and get a good grade...the reasoning within the essay itself is pretty weak)

finally, since the entire section is just saying he might be gay, or he might not be, it probably doesn't add too much to the article. We can go to every character and speculate on both sides of their homosexuality, which is pointless. (talk) 03:41, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Mercutio's death in Act III[edit]

" considered the pivotal turning point..." - considered by whom? -_-; That whole sentence really looks like original research to me. Can that really stand without supporting references?

Also "...signals the shift from comedy to tragedy...". While true, someone else has to say it first, in print. --Darkbane 20:04, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

  • My 2p worth: this article doesn't quote ANY sources. There's only one footnote, and that's a link to Shaksper which isn't WP:RS. The aim shouldn't be so much to remove what's unsourced, but to find sources for everything valid we do have. AndyJones 21:12, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
Nah, I'm not trying to remove anything (yet ^_^), just trying to raise awareness. "is considered" is bad use of English here, but the other parts need refs. --Darkbane 21:14, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Look, guys, all I can promise you is that I'm not making this stuff up. You're right - I do need to check my sources, and I'm working on it. Just trust me. --BeastKing89 02:12, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
Haha. No, really, I am not insinuating that. We just have to live amicably with the OR policies, and the sooner sources appear, the better. :-) --Darkbane 02:36, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

The Citation: Homosexuality, Mercutio's death, etc.[edit]

It seems to me that the article's single citation is less a matter of well researched objectivity and more of a matter of one user finding research to push a point of view that he had already had (read above quote: "Look, guys, all I can promise you is taht I'm not making this stuff up..."

The issue is that no single point of view will ever be the "correct" point of view as Shakespeare was writing for a mass of people, high and low, gay and straight, man and woman. It imbued his work with a thick layer of ambiguity as he had to please all people all the time. The user who edited the part about Mercutio's homosexuality, I feel, is pushing an agenda as the paper which he cited (which is a paper for a college Literature class, it appears, and, I feel, hardly worthy or notable enough to be included as a legitimate source) does not come to a conclusion, it seems, but does make the case for both heterosexual and homosexual overtones.

With theatre, we are not dealing with a literature class. For some Shakespeare there are overarching philosophies of production by people who have a notable voice (Hamlet, for example: the "melancholy Dane" was a Coleridge idea of the play, while the "objective correlative" that T. S. Eliot proposed shaped Hamlet for the 20th century). As there are thousands of actors who have played these roles there are thousands upon thousands of interpretations. It is not up to us, as an encyclopedia, to interpret the play but to describe it in detail, and to source only the material that has a chance to further illuminate popular or cultural ideas about the piece. The source used, as it is an ASSIGNMENT in a COLLEGE LITERATURE COURSE, does not necessarily illuminate the popular, revolutionary or customary ideas of the theatre community.

The ASSIGNMENT also uses second hand sources that are quoted with no context for the quote. I feel that if the user really want to push his position he read Greenblatt or another Shakespearean scholar (Harold Bloom, for instance, there is NO limit to them) and source THAT material, instead of seeking out material for his own point of view.

It is good theatre because it is interpretive. But as no one point of view is right, I think we need to push this article further toward a NPOV. For each argument an equal counter-argument should be given, and SOURCES people! For God's sake SOURCES!

I sympathize with your feelings about the multiple interpretations, and sources. Of course the article needs to be developed. However, I think you're misinterpreting the actions of a good editor who was doing the best he could with what he had. Rather than reading a hidden agenda into this, please just improve the article. Let's avoid personal attacks, here. Wrad 20:43, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

The "Mercutio" Character[edit]

I know wikipedia isn't supposed to be TV Tropes, (Witch is a better fucking sourse of information by the way on all the subjects they tackle) but isn't it common writing device and in movies, ect to have a "mercutio" character? Can't we add that?Sanitycult (talk) 20:15, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

hiya, never one to hover 'guides walkthrough' to never do the right way anyway, so in the french translation, it says that mercutio dude is in the romantic sort of feud, and he s not rite, it s just tybalt and romeo(cant get to read the play in french), tropes? and erase me barging all you want from here ;-) — Preceding unsigned comment added by BabsAngel (talkcontribs) 11:39, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

Curses thrice?[edit]

He curses four times, three in the form of "A plague a'both your houses" and then a fourth as a simple "Your houses!" Source: Any transcript of the play ^_^ —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:05, 18 April 2010 (UTC)


I commented out the two pronunciations added yesterday, neither of which is sourced and both of which are incorrect. I explained on the talk page of the editor who added them, where I also gave what I think the pronunciation should be, which is /mərˈkjuːʃi/.--Jim10701 (talk) 10:54, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

In order to keep this discussion in one place so we and other editors can better follow it, I am moving posts from User talk:Wolfdog#Mercutio pronunciations and User talk:Jim10701#Mercutio onto this page, below, in the chronological order in which they were posted. I will leave a note on both our user talk pages redirecting further comments to this section on this page. Beginning with my original post on Wolfdog's page:

[Moved from User talk:Wolfdog#Mercutio pronunciations:]

I'm going to comment out the two pronunciations you added yesterday to the Mercutio article. Although I'm sure your intentions were good, and I know from experience that constructing such edits is tedious, neither of the pronunciations you added is correct.
In the first, /mərˈktsi./, the /ts/ is incorrect: I'm pretty sure no native English speaker would ever pronounce the name with /ts/. The second, /mərˈkʃi./, is much closer, but there should be a /j/ before the /u/; although I suppose it would be possible that some native English speakers use the pronunciation as you gave it, they would definitely be a small minority.
So the most widely used pronunciation by far would be /mərˈkjuːʃi/, or, even more accurately, /mərˈkjuːʃi/; either of those two would be close enough that anyone using it should pronounce the name correctly.
However... I cannot find any reliable sources that give any pronunciation of the name, so instead of replacing what you added with my own original research, I wanted to give you an opportunity to cite references for the two pronunciations you gave. If you got those pronunciations from reliable sources, please cite those sources in the article and remove the comment tag I added around the two pronunciations. Although I still will believe that they are incorrect, I won't argue with reliable sources.
If those two pronunciations were your own work, I believe mine are in fact closer to being accurate than yours are. Since there seems to be no authoritative source that specifies a "correct" pronunciation, it may be better to leave it out altogether and let each reader do the best he or she can without being told how to pronounce the name; no pronunciation would be better than an incorrect pronunciation.
I trust I haven't offended you. I certainly didn't mean to.--Jim10701 (talk) 10:42, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

[Moved from User talk:jim10701#Mercutio:]

I feel that your ideas of "correctness" and "accuracy" appear arbitrary. Shakespeare used the spelling "Mercutio" as an anglicization of the Italian "Mercuzio," in which the letter z is pronounced /ts/ and the letter u is the monophthong /u/. (You can find an audio clip of the Italian pronunciation, for example, here.) If by "correctness" you mean "popularity," then you may have a point and the popularity of a pronunciation is a valid concern. I have definitely heard the more common pronunciations you mentioned; but to call them "correct" is implying that there is some standard or authority in place when in fact such pronunciations are simply relative replications of the original Italian pronunciation. I was attempting to match an anglicized pronunciation of the original Italian name, while also incorporating that alternate pronunciation in which /ts/ assimilates to /ʃ/. In any case, I, like you, have been unable to find any reliable outside sources, so I agree with your conclusion: best to leave no pronunciations after all. Wolfdog (talk) 15:39, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
You're right: I probably shouldn't have used "correct", since – unlike many other languages – there aren't really any absolute rules in English, no right and wrong, no official body that regulates spelling, pronunciation, grammar, usage or anything else. You're exactly right that in English "correct" means whatever most people do, i. e., "popular". That's how English dictionaries come up with pronunciations, definitions, etc: they continually monitor current usage, and when usages change or new usages arise they document them. Whatever definition, pronunciation, etc, they find in use most often they give first in the dictionary. I just think we should give the pronunciation a dictionary most likely would give if any of them did give a pronunciation.
What we want to give readers is a pronunciation that they could use with some degree of confidence that native speakers of English they talk to will readily understand what they're talking about – and, ideally, not be embarrassed by having their pronunciation corrected. I think /mərˈkjuːʃi/ would come closest to giving them that confidence.
You're also exactly right about the Italian pronunciation, and if we were giving an English approximation of the Italian pronunciation (or how an Italian actor might pronounce it in an English-language production of the play) your /ts/ transcription would have my full support. But the name Mercutio passed fully into the English language more than 400 years ago, and by now the fact that it is an Italian name is interesting to linguists but not relevant to the general public who are the primary readers of Wikipedia.
The pronunciation they need is the pronunciation they would hear most often in a production of the play, in a classroom studying the play, or just talking to native English speakers about the play or the character, etc – and /mərˈkjuːʃi/ is what they would hear in the vast majority of those situations. If a student who had no idea how to pronounce Mercutio used the /ts/ pronunciation in a literature class, for example, it might cause some unnecessary confusion or embarrassment.
I'm glad we agree that it's best to leave the article with no pronunciation unless we can find a reliable source somewhere, which looks increasingly unlikely. And I do very much appreciate your diligent efforts and your obvious dedication. Thanks. Jim --Jim10701 (talk) 19:31, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

[New comments begin here:]

I went to the library and dug through dozens of reference books (including at least one that dumped a load of dust in my face when I pulled it down from the shelf – and it's a relatively new and otherwise immaculate library, so that says a lot about how obscure some of the books were), and I finally found two that give a pronunciation for Mercutio. One is Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature, and the other is the five-volume Cyclopedia of Literary Characters. I've never heard of either work, but M-W is well-known and the Cyclopedia appears to be a reliable source. Although neither uses the IPA, both give the /mərˈkjuːʃi/ pronunciation – M-W in their standard dictionary transcription and the Cyclopedia in a phonetic respelling enough like the one WP uses to allow a direct copy into the article. I still think /ⁱ/ is better than /i/, since many people drop that vowel so that the last syllable sounds like "show", and /ⁱ/ allows for either pronouncing the vowel or not, but I won't argue that point any further since I did find two reliable sources for the pronunciation with /i/. I will edit the article giving those sources.--Jim10701 (talk) 20:24, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
I just realized something that explains to me why Wolfdog added those pronunciations to this article, which frankly seemed bizarre to me when I first saw them. All along, I have been thinking of "Mercutio" as a name that applies only to this character, and so pronouncing the character's name is all that matters. Since this article is about the character and not the name, that is all that matters here; but in the larger scheme of things such narrowness may not apply.
I have never heard of any other person named Mercutio, so it didn't even occur to me to think of it as just a name that anybody might have. But evidently "Mercuzio" is a common enough name in Italian that someone has recorded the pronunciation of it on Forvo.
I think Wolfdog was thinking of it primarily as a name, which I confess hadn't occurred to me until now. As just a name of obviously Italian origin, the pronunciations Wolfdog gave would be perfectly valid and possibly even preferable to the one I gave; if there ever is a WP article on the name Mercutio (as opposed to this one about the character), those pronunciations would be useful there.--Jim10701 (talk) 21:14, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Regardless of your realization about the name Mercutio, you've certainly done more than your share of research, leaving me very little more to say, except perhaps: I apologize for the load of dust you received in the noble interests of Wikipedia. Good work! Wolfdog (talk) 01:50, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. That was good work from you, too. Anybody with the guts to wrestle with the IPA has my infinite respect (well, almost everybody – I'm not too fond of the few people here who think they own it).
I laughed when the dust hit me in the face, because it was so unexpected in that squeaky-clean suburban library. I've taken lots of books down from top shelves before, and that's the first dust I've ever encountered there. I really must be the first person who touched that book since it was first put there however many years ago that was.
I guess reference sections in libraries are hardly used any more since the Internet appeared; probably 90% of it is people like me looking for stuff that's not in Wikipedia yet. Nobody else was there while I was, and even the librarian at the reference desk acted like she'd never been there before. The first book(s) I tried was the OED, and she wasn't even sure where that was! I have no idea what the dusty book was, except I know it wasn't either of the two I ended up using.
Thanks for a very pleasant experience. I much more often have unpleasant experiences with other editors here, as you may have noticed from the last conversation on my talk page before this one, and no matter how hard I try I can't develop the thick skin WP editing requires. I keep telling myself that messing around here isn't worth the grief it causes so often (not just to me but to other editors I tangle with, because I compensate for my thin skin with a very sharp and nasty tongue, which is why all the (Redacted)s in that previous conversation on my talk page), so it's nice to have an experience that doesn't leave me feeling battered and ashamed. Thanks very much.--Jim10701 (talk) 13:18, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm really very glad for the pleasant experience. I remember asking a few years ago why one user would always only harass other users and never praise them; his concise answer was that other users' doing of the right thing should go without saying and they, therefore, never needed positive feedback. I thought this was absurd and still believe that users can be polite, reasonable, and even expressively celebratory with each other when appropriate. I've always been of the mindset that when I've been discovered "wrong," I should admit it. On that note, since I don't think I've yet explicitly mentioned it, I was definitely out of place to include here what I thought was best though it was basically original research. As for difficulties with the IPA, I actually love the IPA (definitely to a geekish extent) but I often disagree with the bizarre standards imposed on it by "authorities" (for example, the representation of the nearly universal English sound [ɹ] as the trilled phoneme /r/ [though I understand the logic behind it]). However, reading your last few comments, I can't help to wonder about the irony of using "real" books (i.e. those found in libraries) to help support an online encyclopedia that, as you say, is likely causing libraries to be hardly used anymore. A strange world we live it seems, and I think it requires from time to time a few humanity-reminding moments of pleasant social interaction. Wolfdog (talk) 05:02, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Benvolio and Mercutio's Relationship[edit]

Relationship Edit
Relationship Edit Google

Hopefully, that shows up. I'm fairly new to Wikipedia, haha. Anyways, somebody made an edit that says "He is the boyfriend of Benvolio." There are probably some interpretations that say he is, but in the actual play, it said nothing about the two being in an actual relationship. This even shows up when you Google up Mercutio, and you get the little Wikipedia blurb about him. Mercutio's sexuality is completely up to interpretation, so it's not like we can make a section about it. Should I edit the sentence out, and add Benvolio to "He is a close friend of Romeo and Benvolio..."? PleaseDontTouchMyFries (talk) 06:20, 13 February 2016 (UTC) ! small>— Preceding unsigned comment added by PleaseDontTouchMyFries (talkcontribs) 06:12, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

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