Humanities › Literature Mercutio Monologues Share Flipboard Email Print Robbie Jack/Corbis/Getty Images Literature Plays & Drama Monologues Basics & Advice Playwrights Play & Drama Reviews Improvisation Games and Activities Best Sellers Classic Literature Poetry Quotations Shakespeare Short Stories Children's Books By Wade Bradford Theater Expert M.A., Literature, California State University - Northridge B.A., Creative Writing, California State University - Northridge Wade Bradford, M.A., is an award-winning playwright and theater director. He wrote and directed seven productions for Yorba Linda Civic Light Opera's youth theater. our editorial process Wade Bradford Updated February 05, 2020 Not to criticize Shakespeare, but the play Romeo and Juliet should feature a little less Friar Lawrence and a little more Mercutio. You could argue that this funny, furious character should have gotten his very own play, but instead, he gets killed off (spoiler!) at the beginning of Act Three! Still, we can rejoice in the few excellent Mercutio moments and monologues. The Queen Mab Monologue In Mercutio's best and lengthiest monologue, often called "The Queen Mab Speech," the jovial supporting character chides Romeo, claiming that he has been visited by a fairy queen, one that makes men desire things best left unattained. In Romeo's case, he is still pining for Rosaline. Little does he realize that he will soon fall for Juliet. When performing the following monologue, actors often begin very playfully, but as the speech continues, touching upon corruption and war, Mercutio becomes more frenzied and intense. MERCUTIO: O, then I see Queen Mab hath been with you.She is the fairies' midwife, and she comesIn shape no bigger than an agate stoneOn the forefinger of an alderman,Drawn with a team of little atomiesOver men's noses as they lie asleep;Her wagon spokes made of long spinners' legs,The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers;Her traces, of the smallest spider web;Her collars, of the moonshine's wat'ry beams;Her whip, of cricket's bone; the lash, of film;Her wagoner, a small grey-coated gnat,Not half so big as a round little wormPricked from the lazy finger of a maid;Her chariot is an empty hazelnut,Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,Time out o' mind the fairies' coachmakers.And in this state she gallops night by nightThrough lovers' brains, and then they dream of love;O'er courtiers' knees, that dream on curtsies straight;O'er lawyers' fingers, who straight dream on fees;O'er ladies' lips, who straight on kisses dream,Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are.Sometimes she gallops o'er a courtier's nose,And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;And sometimes comes she with a tithe-pig's tailTickling a parson's nose as 'a lies asleep,Then dreams he of another benefice.Sometimes she driveth o'er a soldier's neck,And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,Of healths five fathom deep; and then anonDrums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,And being thus frighted, swears a prayer or twoAnd sleeps again. This is that very MabThat plats the manes of horses in the nightAnd bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs,Which once untangled much misfortune bodes.This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,That presses them and learns them first to bear,Making them women of good carriage.This is she!(Romeo interrupts, and then the monologue concludes:) True, I talk of dreams,Which are the children of an idle brain,Begot of nothing but vain fantasy,Which is as thin of substance as the airAnd more inconstant than the wind, who woosEven now the frozen bosom of the north,And, being anger'd, puffs away from thence,Turning his face to the dew-dropping south. Mercutio Describes Tybalt In this scene, Mercutio explains the personality and combat techniques of Tybalt, Juliet's deadly cousin. By the end of the speech, Romeo walks in, and Mercutio begins to chastise the young man. MERCUTIO: More than prince of cats, I can tell you. O, he isthe courageous captain of compliments. He fights asyou sing prick-song, keeps time, distance, andproportion; rests me his minim rest, one, two, andthe third in your bosom: the very butcher of a silkbutton, a duellist, a duellist; a gentleman of thevery first house, of the first and second cause:ah, the immortal passado! the punto reverso! the hai!The pox of such antic, lisping, affectingfantasticoes; these new tuners of accents! 'By Jesu,a very good blade! a very tall man! a very goodwhore!' Why, is not this a lamentable thing,grandsire, that we should be thus afflicted withthese strange flies, these fashion-mongers, theseperdona-mi's, who stand so much on the new form,that they cannot at ease on the old bench? O, theirbones, their bones!Without his roe, like a dried herring: flesh, flesh,how art thou fishified! Now is he for the numbersthat Petrarch flowed in: Laura to his lady was but akitchen-wench; marry, she had a better love tobe-rhyme her; Dido a dowdy; Cleopatra a gypsy;Helen and Hero hildings and harlots; Thisbe a greyeye or so, but not to the purpose. SigniorRomeo, bon jour! there's a French salutationto your French slop. You gave us the counterfeitfairly last night. Mercutio and Benvolio In this next scene, Mercutio demonstrates his genius for mockery. Everything he complains about regarding his friend Benvolio's character does not apply to the young man. Benvolio is agreeable and good-natured throughout the play. Mercutio is the one most likely to pick a quarrel for no good reason! Some might say that Mercutio is actually describing himself. MERCUTIO: Thou art like one of those fellows that when heenters the confines of a tavern claps me his swordupon the table and says 'God send me no need ofthee!' and by the operation of the second cup drawsit on the drawer, when indeed there is no need.BENVOLIO: Am I like such a fellow?MERCUTIO: Come, come, thou art as hot a Jack in thy mood asany in Italy, and as soon moved to be moody, and assoon moody to be moved.BENVOLIO: And what to?MERCUTIO: Nay, an there were two such, we should have noneshortly, for one would kill the other. Thou! why,thou wilt quarrel with a man that hath a hair more,or a hair less, in his beard, than thou hast: thouwilt quarrel with a man for cracking nuts, having noother reason but because thou hast hazel eyes: whateye but such an eye would spy out such a quarrel?Thy head is as fun of quarrels as an egg is full ofmeat, and yet thy head hath been beaten as addle asan egg for quarrelling: thou hast quarrelled with aman for coughing in the street, because he hathwakened thy dog that hath lain asleep in the sun:didst thou not fall out with a tailor for wearinghis new doublet before Easter? with another, fortying his new shoes with old riband? and yet thouwilt tutor me from quarrelling!