In my lifetime I have read many great works of literature of varying genres, from science fiction, to comedy and even romance, and through all this I discovered that I enjoy the writings of William Shakespeare the most. His characters are extremely human and his descriptive dialogue intrigues me as no other type of writing has before. I do not have extensive knowledge on all of his plays but of the ones I have read I enjoyed Romeo and Juliet the most. The reason for this is mainly due to one of the most imaginative and fun-loving supporting characters in Shakespeare's history, Mercutio.

During my first reading of Romeo and Juliet I immediately fell in love with Mercutio's character. Having had no previous knowledge of the story's full plot I was quite disturbed when he was murdered by Tybalt rather early on in the production, because I saw much of myself in this character and could fully relate to him. He was a free spirit that loved to have fun and seemed to live in his own little world where nothing was taken seriously, except for the honor and dignity of his friends, whom he cared for greatly. He exuded an enjoyment and zest for life that is rarely seen in today's age of conformity and mass media. He was a man that loved to truly live and experience everything; he seemed to understand that life truly is short and you must do all you can with it, while you have the chance.

Though Shakespeare put the words in his mouth I always felt that Mercutio had really been alive and actually delivered his imaginative speeches, such as "Queen Mab", because it was something so fantastical and well described that I wanted it to be real. I wanted a character with such imagination and passion for fantasy to exist, because these are the things that I love and cherish as well and it is extremely rare these days to find such a kindred spirit. I also appreciated how Mercutio was very loyal to his friends, such as when he defended Romeo's honor and died fighting Tybalt. I found this an extremely noble quality to have and admired him for it, because to me, friends are the greatest things in life and if you will not protect them, you do not deserve them.

The only knowledge about Mercutio's past and life that we are given must be taken from details and dialogue from Romeo and Juliet. He lives in the city of Verona and is good friends with Romeo and Benvolio, both of whom are of the house of Montague. It is because of this friendship that he is against the house of Capulet. It is never revealed to which house he belongs, but it is said that he is a cousin to the Prince of Verona, so we know that his true lineage was of neither the Montagues nor Capulets, unless perhaps by marriage. His marital status is unknown to us, though from his speeches on love it seems that he is not married and has no current significant other. Since he is friends with Romeo, who is sixteen or so, he is most likely in his late teens as well, or possibly even early twenties. Mercutio dies in the streets of Verona shortly after Romeo marries Juliet. He is stabbed by Tybalt while defending Romeo's honor and with the prophetic "a plague o' both your houses" as his final words, he dies.

Mercutio is not the type of person I would truly wish to learn from, but he is someone I would greatly love to speak to and have a true conversation with. He is not a scientist or novelist who has some wonderful, secret knowledge about the world; he is just a man, whom I felt was wise for his years and who I would like to know better. His extreme enjoyment of life intrigues me the most, and because he lived, spoke and acted in such a unique manner, I have to wonder if he came to any conclusions about life that many others would have missed. Mostly, I am curious about learning more about the conclusions he reached through his lifestyle and his views on love, honor, friendship, life and death.

Five questions I would ask him are:
1. What is your philosophy?
2. What are the most important things in your life?
3. Have you ever been in love?
4. Whom do you consider wise?
5. What do you believe is the true meaning of life?

Mercutio is by far the most entertaining and interesting character I can recall reading about in my life. His wonderfully descriptive speeches and witty dialogue moved me in a way I never thought possible, especially through Shakespeare. This character made me want to read and write more frequently, and really pushed me to read more of Shakespeare's work. I felt truly connected to him due to the similarities in our personality and I think he would be wonderful to simply chat with about life, love and family. It is because I think we would get along so well that I have chosen Mercutio as the character I would most like to meet.