Read the excerpt from Act III, scene i of Romeo and Juliet. Mercutio: Thou! why, thou wilt quarrel with a man that hath a hair more or a hair less in his beard than thou hast. Thou wilt quarrel with a man for cracking nuts, having no other reason but because thou hast hazel eyes. What eye, but such an eye, would spy out such a quarrel? Thy head is as full of quarrels as an egg is full of meat, and yet thy head hath been beaten as addle as an egg for quarrelling. Thou hast quarrelled with a man for coughing in the street, because he hath wakened thy dog that hath lain asleep in the sun. Didst thou not fall out with a tailor for wearing his new doublet before Easter? with another, for tying his new shoes with old riband? and yet thou wilt tutor me from quarrelling! Benvolio: An I were so apt to quarrel as thou art, any man should buy the fee-simple of my life for an hour and a quarter. Mercutio: The fee-simple! O simple! Benvolio: By my head, here come the Capulets.

Why does Shakespeare include this comic speech by Mercutio?

to explain Benvolio’s strange behavior
to question the established laws of Verona
to mock the reasons for quarrels and feuds
to illustrate the close friendship between the men

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to illustrate the close friendship between the men


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