The Nurse, Romeo and Juliet

9 September 2016

The nurse is the Capulet’s servant, a faithful servant who tries her hardest to please Juliet and the rest the Capulet’s at the same time. The nurse is also a very important character in the play in the Capulet’s lives as she was hired for the job of breastfeeding Juliet, because she had unwanted breast milk due to the tragic loss of her little Susan; although she might just be another servant in the household, she has a far more superior responsibility. She plays an important role as Juliet’s confidant, and a crucial character that strongly influences Juliet’s thoughts and actions.

The relationship between The Nurse and Juliet is even seen to be stronger than Juliet and her own mother’s relationship. We meet the nurse for the very first time in Act 1 scene 3, when lady Capulet announces to Juliet the marriage proposal of Lord Paris, and immediately we the nurse’s her loving side as she begins to talk about Juliet when she was a baby and gives a longwinded and explicit explanation on Juliet’s age, and that the death of Susan has bought her even closer to Juliet. “Even or odd, of all days in the year, Come Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen. Susan and she,–God rest all Christian souls!

The Nurse, Romeo and Juliet Essay Example

Were of an age: well, Susan is with God; She was too good for me:–but, as I said, On Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen; That shall she, marry; I remember it well. ‘Tis since the earthquake now eleven years; And she was wean’d,–I never shall forget it–, Of all the days of the year, upon that day: For I had then laid wormwood to my dug, Sitting in the sun under the dove-house wall; My lord and you were then at Mantua: Nay, I do bear a brain:–but, as I said, When it did taste the wormwood on the nipple Of my dug and felt it bitter, pretty fool, To see it tetchy, and fall out with the dug!

Shake, quoth the dove-house: ’twas no need, I trow, To bid me trudge. And since that time it is eleven years; For then she could stand alone; nay, by the rood She could have run and waddled all about; For even the day before, she broke her brow: And then my husband,–God be with his soul! ‘A was a merry man,–took up the child: ‘Yea,’ quoth he, ‘dost thou fall upon thy face? Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit; Wilt thou not, Jule? ‘ and, by my holidame, The pretty wretch left crying, and said ‘Ay:’ To see now how a jest shall come about!

I warrant, an I should live a thousand yeas, I never should forget it; ‘Wilt thou not, Jule? ‘ quoth he; And, pretty fool, it stinted, and said ‘Ay. ” The whole marriage concept took Juliet by surprise, even though she is only the age of 13, she was extremely excited. Lady Capulet treats the proposal with a degree of strained delicacy; the nurse on the other hand offers a far more down to earth interpretation of what young men can do for young women. Her idea of men is that they just get women pregnant- “No less nay, bigger women brow by men. ”

Shakespeare’s play also shows that the nurse has a vulgar sense of humour, which brings out the naturalness of sex and childbirth, revealing her realistic attitude to love. ‘Go Girl; seek happy nights to happy days’. The Nurse also plays an extremely significant role between Romeo and Juliet’s relationship and marriage. At the Capulet ball the nurse was used to find out who Romeo was for Juliet. “Go ask his name” (Juliet) When Juliet falls for Romeo and asks the nurse to find out about him, it is notable that she is not drawn into Juliet’s confidence; this appears to be the first time Juliet has concealed any secrets from her.

The same was with Romeo, he asked the nurse to find out about Juliet. She was also used by Juliet after the Caplet ball to communicate with Romeo, to send information from one of the lovers to the other, acting as a courier. She is quick to warn Romeo not to lead Juliet into a ‘fool’s paradise’’. This part of the play again expresses her and Juliet’s tender relationship. The nurse is looking out for Juliet to make sure she is not going to get hurt, because the nurse thinks Juliet is gentle and young.

Despite the fact that Romeo was raised to hate Capulets and Juliet was raised to hate Montagues, they both still fall in love with one another. Act 2 Scene 5 shows a playful side of Juliet and the nurse’s relationship, as she teases Juliet for her own entertainment- when she comes back from delivering Juliet’s marriage proposal to Romeo, the nurse jokes around with Juliet saying that she is so tired and she is out of breath. “Do you not see that I am out of breath? ” She then uses facial expressions to try to persuade Juliet that the news she has is bad “Though news be sad. The nurse continues to lead Juliet on even when Juliet becomes very impatient. “I am a weary, give me leave awhile. ” And finally she tells Juliet she will be married today. Even though the nurse does not have much of a relationship with Romeo because he is a Montague and she works for the Capulet, she still creates a strong liking toward him.

For example in Act 2 scene 5, the Nurse gives a Physical summary of Romeo, his face, his hand, his foot, and his body and then finishes by saying he is very gentle and that Juliet has made a good choice. Well, you have made a simple choice; you know not how to choose a man: Romeo! no, not he; rhough his face be better than any man’s, yet his leg excels all men’s; and for a hand and a foot, and a body,–though they be not to be talked on, yet they are past compare: he is not the flower of courtesy,–but I’ll warrant him as gentle as a lamb. –Go thy ways, wench; serve God. – -What, have you dined at home? ” In act 3 scene 2 the nurse brings Juliet the shocking news of Tybalt (Juliet’s cousin)‘s death, who was one of the few that showed the nurse respect. Tybalt, the best friend I had! ” “Tybalt, honest gentleman” And so she again has turned against Romeo and curses Romeo, convinced that Juliet would share the same feeling. “Shame comes to Romeo. ” But the nurse also brings Juliet the news of Romeo being exiled, because of his murdering of Tybalt. But Juliet loves Romeo so much that she forgives him because if Romeo did not kill Tybalt, Tybalt would have killed Romeo. The nurse thinks that Juliet is foolish and she should not cry for Romeo. ‘Will you speak well of him that killed your cousin? ’

In act 3 scene 5 the force of Juliet’s grief persuades the nurse to render a final act of assistance by fetching Romeo from the Friar’s cell. At first, she tries to defend Juliet, by warning Romeo and Juliet that Lady Capulet is coming, so Romeo could depart from Juliet’s bedroom. The Capulets come to Juliet’s room to inform that the marriage with Paris has been bought forward. Juliet then turns to the nurse in desperation. But the nurse forfeited and betrayed their relationship by telling Juliet to marry Paris, as he is ‘A man of wax’, even though she knew this is not what Juliet wants.

I think it best if you married with the county’ As the nurse deceives Juliet, the only person Juliet can turn to now is Friar Lawrence. Unfortunately for the nurse, her last duty was to discover the supposedly dead Juliet, in act 4 scenes 5. The nurse takes Juliet’s ‘death’ very poorly, as much as Juliet’s mother and father. “She’s dead, deceas’d, she’s dead, alack the day! Lady Capulet Alack the day, she’s dead, she’s dead, she’s dead! ” The nurse’s grief is intense and devastating, but the play suggests that it seems a fair price to pay for her betrayal to Juliet.

Overall, the nurse possesses many qualities such as being very hearty towards Juliet, kind, protective, compassionate, she is a loyal and loving lady. But some parts of the play indicate she can also be long-winded, insensitive, arrogant, insecure and foolish at times. Her relationship with Juliet is especially strong, partially as she imagines that Juliet is a substitute for her own daughter Susan. As faithful as she is to the Capulets, yet she will usually do what she believes is right or what Juliet wants, like secretly meeting with Romeo and arranging the wedding for Romeo and Juliet.

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