It is obvious from all versions of ‘Romeo and Juliet’, written of performed, that the two characters of Romeo and Mercutio share a very close relationship, even though the two friends have highly contrasting personalities. Romeo is a romantic who loves to be in love, and is quite selfish and introverted. Mercutio on the other hand, believes in lust instead of love, and is at his best in the centre of attention.
Act 2 Scene 4 is the morning after the Capulet ball where Romeo met Juliet, and is centred on the two friends’ duel of wit. At the start, Mercutio is outwardly wondering where Romeo is, showing that he likes to be in control of his friends. In the Franco Zeffirelli film, Mercutio tries to act indifferently, whereas Baz Luherman’s Mercutio is openly annoyed and concerned.
In both film versions Mercutio ignores Romeo by turning and walking away from him, making Romeo follow. In Franco Zeffirelli’s film, Mercutio demonstrates his acting skills by pretending to be an exaggerated old man. The two friends start teasing each other, using puns and sexual innuendos such as “... constrains a man to bow in the hams.” this is hinting that Romeo got a sexually transmitted disease that night, also a pun for curtsey. Much of the banter is cut from the films, almost all of it from the Franco Zeffirelli version.
A crowd of friends surround the two, laughing and encouraging them. They react this way, showing that they have witnessed a similar witty duel between Romeo and Mercutio in the past, and know that the two are kings of puns and wittiness. Benvolio is asked by Mercutio to go between them, and does so, showing that he looks up to Mercutio and is willing to be his sidekick.
In the Baz Luherman film, the two friends engage in a childish play fight, showing that they are young, immature men. They are...