His involvement in the play up until this point is limited but he was the 1 along with Benvolio that persuaded Romeo to gatecrash the Capulet ball to show him that there are more women than Rosyline. And he was there to taunt the Capulet nurse when she comes to tell Romeo of the marriage.
In the beginning of act 3 scene 1 Mercutio and Benvolio are wondering around the town square of Verona on a very hot day Mercutio decides to take a dip in the local fountain Benvolio tells Mercutio to come in off the streets because the Capulets are wondering around and if they meet “they will not scape a brawl”
The tension in the scene in the Zefferelli version of the film is created in the heat and in the Lurhman film it is created by the music it is very dramatic music and makes you think that something bad is going to happen.
Mercutio’s response to Benvolio trying to tell him to get off the streets and warning him that the Capulets are coming shows us that he is very stubborn and ignorant, when Benvolio says “By my heart here come the Capulets” when Tybalt and the rest of the Capulets show up, Mercutio replies “By my heel I care not”.
Romeo’s relationship with Mercutio is like best friends almost like brothers Mercutio is always looking out for Romeo and protecting him.
The fight in the Zefferelli version breaks out when Romeo shakes Tybalts hand and Tybalt looks at his hand in disgust and washes it in the fountain where Mercutio is bathing, he then splashes Mercutio with water and Mercutio becomes annoyed and will not stand for it he jumps out of the fountain in a rage and starts the fight, but the most antagonistic person is Tybalt.
In the Lurhmann version things aren’t a lot different, Tybalt arrives and is looking for Romeo, Mercutio wants a fight with Tybalt but Tybalt doesn’t want to fight with him he jus wants to kill Romeo, when Romeo arrives Tybalt proceeds to kick his butt and Mercutio is annoyed and goes over to help Romeo out he pulls Tybalt off Romeo and throws him onto sum broken shards of glass, Romeo & Mercutio are then talking when Tybalt grabs 1 of the shards of glass and lunges at Romeo but hits Mercutio under Romeo’s arm, but that would never of happened if Mercutio had just left Tybalt and Romeo alone to fight each other.
The language of Mercutio after he has sustained his wound continues to show that he is a comedian and even in death cannot be serious.
It Is a bit harsh that Mercutio has bin murdered, but if he didn’t try and be funny and play his injury down to be less serious he mite of bin able to get some help and maybe survived.
The two different Mercutio’s are completely different one is the typical Elizabethan bloke with his dress and everything the other is the complete opposite, a 20th century afro Caribbean man with loud shirts and dread locks, not exactly how you would imagine Mercutio after reading the play.
Similarities between the two are few and far between but there are some. There attitude, they are both very funny characters and play the comedian of the production, the relationships he has with other characters such as Benvolio, Romeo and the Capulets, the way they antagonize Tybalt in this scene and the way they use language and expressions. This is mostly down to the fact that both films use the same script written by Shakespeare and aren’t modernized in the speech part.
There are also differences though, much like they are similar in their attitude, relationships, antagonism and language they are also different in these aspects at the same time. Like the Lurhmann Mercutio is a lot more aggressive and is stronger than the Zefferelli character and he is also a lot more camp. The Zefferelli character is a lot more funny but he seems to be a skinny weakling and isn’t very good at much just messing about.
I think the most convincing character for me is the Lurhmann one because it is more modern and is easier to understand and he is a lot harder and I cant see the skinny little Zefferelli attempt being able to stand up for Romeo very well.