Romeo+Juliet (the one with Leonardo DiCaprio) is playing in the background as I work here in the home office. Somebody tell me about Mercutio’s final moments? He is friend to the Montagues, and in his last act defends Romeo’s honor. Yet his last words are, among other things, “They have made worm’s meat of me” and the more recognizable, “A plague on both your houses.” In this particular version, Mercutio is wandering offstage alone when he utters the worm’s meat line, as if it is an aside. That changes it for me. I think I always thought, if he was saying it to Romeo, that he’d be referring to the Capulets. But said like that, coupled with the “both houses” line, it seems more that he’s talking about both of them. As if, in his final moments, he’s wondering “Why did I get in the middle of that?” I suppose it’s always been there, I mean after all he does clearly say both your houses. I don’t think it ever fully sunk in for me before, though. He doesn’t blame Tybalt for killing him, he blames them both for getting him stuck in the middle. Yes? No? Has everybody always thought of it like that, and I’m only now getting with the program?