Example research essay topic: Analysis Of The Queen Mab Speech From Romeo And Juliet – 824 words

O, then I see Queen Mab hath been with you. This
powerful statement is the beginning to one of the
most historic and significant poems in
Shakespearean history, Mercutios famous Queen Mab
speech. Various reasons can be given as to why
Shakespeare would place such a lengthy poem in
Romeo and Juliet. This talk of dreams is essential
to the play as it develops theme, foreshadows the
story, and ultimately alters the entire pace of
the play. Also, Shakespeare uses many literary
devices to make this poem one the reader will
remember through out the play. At the time
Mercutio delivers his Queen Mab speech, Romeo is
suddenly overcome by a sense of great foreboding
of attending the party due to a dream he had.

This
annoys Mercutio, who does not recognize Romeos
reluctance as a genuine premonition, but feels it
is simply another example of Romeos lovesick
whims. Mercutio cleverly replies, Dreamers often
lie. This suddenly launches Mercutio into a speech
that alters the entire pace of the scene. Up to
now, the conversation has been typical of a group
of people walking through the streets-short
phrases, a generally relaxed mood. Though the
speech talks of many things and can be analyzed in
many ways, the gist of the speech concerns Queen
Mab, who is a fairy responsible for peoples
dreams. The Queen Mab speech is totally fanciful,
describing, as if to a child, this tiny little
creature who flies through the air in a small
carriage, driven by a “wagoner” who is a gnat.

On
the surface this seems like it should be charming,
but when one boils it down, it isn’t charming at
all. For example, Queen Mab’s “cover” of her
carriage is made of grasshopper wings, which imply
that someone must have pulled the grasshopper’s
wings off to make it. Same for the spider’s legs,
which serve as the wagon’s spokes and the
riding-whip, which is made of a cricket’s bone.
Mercutio points out that the entire apparatus is
not “half so big as a round little worm, pricked
from the lazy finger of a maid, but do living
maid’s fingers have worms in them? Furthermore,
Mercutio suddenly veers off into a deluge of
images that are at complete odds with the
childlike story he was going to tell. For example,
It is not enough for him to just say soldiers
dream of war, but they must dream of (I, IV,
83-87) cutting foreign throatsand sleeps again. As
Mercutios images become less cute and more
alarming, the rhythm in Shakespeares iambic
pentameter becomes more driven as Shakespeare
allows less breathing room between phrases. This
illustrates how Mercutio would say this
forty-two-line speech, which is only comprised of
two sentences, in a very dramatic way.

In other
words, Mercutio began his speech with sweet dreams
and ended with nightmares. Now, Mab does not seem
like such a cute little creature after all. In a
sense, this is how the play goes, as well. Romeo
begins by having a harmless crush that turns into
love affair with Juliet. This love affair,
however, is doomed in every respect. It is doomed
not only because the Montagues and Capulets are
sworn enemies but also because Romeo and Juliet
are too young to handle such a violent passion as
their love turns out to be.

It is not accidental
that Shakespeare begins this play by describing
the feud that has separated Verona in two, and the
first scene deals not with love, but with a street
brawl. Romeo and Juliet’s Verona is a very violent
place, and it would be strange indeed if these two
children of Verona experienced a sweet and gentle
love. Also, there is a very good reason for
putting this speech toward the end of Act I. It is
our introduction to Mercutio, and it presents him
as a charming, likeable character. Also, at this
moment Romeo is about to meet Juliet, but has not;
this leaves the “consequence yet hanging in the
stars” which has not shown its lovely, yet deadly
face. This illustrates the relationship between
the Queen Mab speech and Romeo and Juliets love
because they both start out calmly, but end up
violently out of control.

In this context, Romeo’s
last words in this scene are tremendously
significant. His sense of dread, after Mercutio’s
strange behavior, has deepened rather than
diminished, and for the first time he actually
defines what it is he feels. He senses that the
events, which are about to unfold, will result in
his death. He is, of course, right. And yet Romeo
seems to realize that there is nothing to be done
except face the future squarely, there is no
running from it. (I, IV, 112-13) “But he, that
hath the steerage of my course, Direct my sail!”
It is his passion, his impetuosity, his lust,
which will spell his doom as all of it is
foreshadowed in Mercutio’s “talk of dreams.”.

Research essay sample on Analysis Of The Queen Mab Speech From Romeo And Juliet