As Mercutio tells Benvolio, he hates Tybalt for being a slave to fashion and vanity, one of “such antic, lisping, affecting phantas- / ims, these new tuners of accent! . . these fashionmongers, these ‘pardon-me’s’ ” (–29). Mercutio is so insistent that the reader feels compelled to accept this description of Tybalt’s character as definitive. Tybalt does prove Mercutio’s words true: he demonstrates himself to be as witty, vain, and prone to violence as he is fashionable, easily insulted, and defensive. To the self-possessed Mercutio, Tybalt seems a caricature; to Tybalt, the brilliant, earthy, and unconventional Mercutio is probably incomprehensible. (It might be interesting to compare Mercutio’s comments about Tybalt to Hamlet’s description of the foppish Osric in Act 5, scene 2 of Hamlet, lines 140–146.)
Romeo and Juliet was popular during Shakespeare's time, but over the centuries it has become nothing short of omnipresent. It is arguably the most-filmed play of all time, and has been adapted 4 times to date - first by George Cukor in 1936, then by Franco Zeffirelli in 1968, Baz Luhrmann in 1996, and most recently, by Carlo Carlei in 2013. John Madden's Academy-Award winning film Shakespeare in Love is a fictional account of Shakespeare's life while writing the play. It was the basis for Prokofiev's famous ballet, and has inspired numerous Operas, pop and jazz songs, books, games, and musicals.