Mercutio’s ‘Queen Mab’ Speech

At the time Mercutio makes his renowned “Queen Mab” speech in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, he and Romeo, with each other with a group of their close friends and kinsmen, are on the way to a celebration provided by their family’s arch-enemy, Lord Capulet. Their program is to crash the party so that Romeo may possibly have the chance to see his current really like, Rosaline, whom they know has been invited to the Capulet’s masque that evening.

Romeo, whom his buddies look to take into account typically really witty and exciting, initially believed the party-crashing would be a fantastic thought, but abruptly is overcome by a sense of wonderful foreboding despite the fact that they “mean nicely in going to this mask . . . ’tis no wit to go” (I, iv, 48-49). This annoys Mercutio, who does not recognize Romeo’s reluctance as a genuine premonition, but feels it is basically an additional example of Romeo’s lovesick whims. Romeo tries to clarify to Mercutio that it is based upon a very disturbing dream, and Mercutio passes that off as silly, telling him that “Dreamers typically lie.” Here he is not saying that Romeo himself is a liar, but that people today should place no faith in dreams. But Romeo is insistent dreamers lie “in bed asleep, they do dream things correct” (I, iv, 52).

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