act one scene four
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Mercutio is a good friend to Romeo. In many productions I have seen, Mercutio is shown to be in love with Romeo. This plays off directly with his Queen Mab speech. Romeo can see that Tybalt is getting way too carried away by his Mab speech. To force an end to it Romeo says, "Thou talk’st of nothing.” Mercutio agrees, saying that dreams “are the children of an idle brain” . Mercutio seems to be saying that dreams are like illusions meant to tempt men's souls but fall apart when he wakes. There is some pretty strong intensity here. Is Mercutio saying that Romeo's dreams of the perfect love are merely illusions meant to enslave him. Many critics feel Mercutio himself is enslaved by his homoerotic love for Romeo. In any case Mercutio seems quite preoccupied with dreams both awake and asleep.