The Character of the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet Essay
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The Character of the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet
The Nurse has a very important role in the play, being Juliet’s closest friend and helping her in her illicit relationship with Romeo. Her position in the Capulet household is superior to that of a normal servant. She is very familiar when she talks to Lady Capulet, and at times oversteps the mark. She talks about the daughter she once had and lost, and it is evident that Juliet is like a replacement and the Nurse lavishes all her motherly love and protectiveness on Juliet. She is bossy to the other servants, we see this in the beginning when she gives orders to Peter and bosses him around. She is not very intelligent, and is a fairly simple person,…show more content…
The night before her wedding day, Juliet waits for Romeo with excitement. The Nurse enters the room with the rope ladder that Romeo is to use to climb into Juliet’s room, but throws it down tiredly and sighs “ Ah well a day! He’s dead, he’s dead…we are undone lady”. The Nurse goes on and on, until Juliet thinks that she is talking about Romeo. After she has calmed down, she tells Juliet that Romeo killed Tybalt in a street fight, and tells that Juliet that no man can be trusted. The Nurse begins to feels sorry for herself, saying, “give me some aqua vitae...these grief’s…woes…make me old.” Juliet curses Romeo using insults such as, “bright smoke” and “cold fire”,
Juliet’s anger at the Nurse’s criticism of Romeo shows her loyalty to Romeo, and she quickly overcomes her initial reaction to Tybalt’s death, showing that true love conquers all. Juliet exclaims, “blistered be thy tongue” to the Nurse. With these words, she effectively forgives Romeo, and the strong language she uses are in stark contrast with sweet-tongued Juliet that we have come to know. Again the Nurse’s fantastic ability to be incredibly insensitive shines through in this scene. Being close to Juliet, she should realise that Juliet’s feelings and emotions would be akin to a roller coaster ride at this point in time, and that Juliet needs support and stability. Instead, the Nurse
The Nurse in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
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The Nurse is Capulets servant, and she is a very good servant as she tries her hardest to please the Capulets and Juliet at the same time. She is also a very important character in the play and in the Capulets lives. Through out the play The Nurse is Juliet’s confidant. The Nurse is a crucial character who strongly influences Juliet’s thoughts and actions. The main reason why the Capulet employed her was to breast feed Juliet. The Nurse was perfect for the job because she had just lost her little baby Susan, and The Nurse will now have unwanted breast milk that is ideal for Juliet as Lady Capulet does not want the role of breast feeding. The relationship between The Nurse and Juliet is like a mother daughter relationship, she is like Juliet surrogate mother towards Juliet.
The Nurse possesses many qualities. For example, she is very hearty towards Juliet, kind, protective, compassionate and a loving lady. In some parts of the play The Nurse can be long-winded, insensitive, arrogant, insecure and stupid at times but she loves Juliet very much, partially as she imagines that Juliet is a substitute for her own daughter Susan. She has a bawdy sense of humor, which brings out the naturalness of sex and childbearing. This is seen when she tells Juliet to look for love, - “Go girl, seek happy nights to happy days';. This displays a realistic attitude to love. Such bawdy realism is, like the ribaldry of Mercutio and company, a contrast with the tender, romantic and passionate feelings of Romeo and Juliet. The Nurse is a practical but rather stupid woman at times. She loves Juliet like her own child. Throughout the play The Nurse is very talkative. She will usually do what she believes is right or what Juliet wants, like secretly meeting with Romeo and arranging the wedding of Romeo and Juliet.
Throughout the play the relationship between Juliet and The Nurse always shows. The Nurse has a playful as well as a caring relationship with Juliet. Even though The Nurse maybe a servant in the Capulet household, The Nurse has a far more superior role to an ordinary servant. This is seen in Act 1 Scene 3 when Lady Capulet sent The Nurse out and them immediately calls her back in as The Nurse knows Juliet so well. “Nurse come back again'; The relationship between The Nurse and Juliet is so strong that The Nurse knows Juliet better than her own mother; this is shown in Act 1 scene 3 when Lady Capulet does not know the age of her daughter.
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Nurse Juliet Lady Capulet Mother Daughter Relationship Romeo Breast Feeding Important Character William Shakespeare Capulets
In Act 1 scene 3 we meet The Nurse for the very first time, and in this scene The Nurse shows her more boring side as she begins to talk about Juliet when she was a baby and now she is nearly 14 years of age. The Nurse gives a longwinded and explicit explanation on Juliet age. When The Nurse is longwinded about a particular thing it will usually irritate Lady Capulet until she would say- “Enough of this, I pray thee hold thy peace!';
At the Capulet ball The Nurse was used to find out who Romeo was for Juliet “Go ask his name.'; The same was with Romeo, Romeo asked The Nurse to find out about Juliet. The Nurse was also used after the Capulet ball to communicate with Romeo for Juliet sake. The Nurse was also used to send information from one of the lovers to the other she acted as a courier.
In the beginning of the play, The Nurse is Juliet’s closest friend her confidant. This is hardly surprising since The Nurse has been Juliet’s wet-nurse. The Nurse sometimes is not very sensitive for a woman and in the early part of the play she comes across as a comic figure. Certainly she provides considerable amusement in act 1 scene 3 when Lady Capulet is discussing the possibility of Juliet marrying Paris. In this scene the play expresses how close The Nurse is to Juliet, when for no reason The Nurse begins to talk about Susan. She explains that she is with god, and how this event has brought her even closer to Juliet.
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. The Nurse’s idea of men is that they just get women pregnant- “No less nay, bigger women grow by men.';
An additional sign of the playful relationship between The Nurse and Juliet is in Act 2 scene 5. 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?'; The Nurse uses facial expressions to try to persuade Juliet that the news she has is bad. “Though news be sad.'; The Nurse continues to lead on Juliet when Juliet becomes very impatient. “I am a-weary – give me leave awhile.'; Then The Nurse tells Juliet she will be married today. The Nurse now speaks well of Romeo for the first time. In this scene a good strong fun relationship is shown between The Nurse and Juliet, as The Nurse deliberately teases Juliet for her own entertainment.
When Juliet falls for Romeo and asks The Nurse to find out about him, it is significant that she is not drawn into Juliet confidence: this appears to be the first time Juliet has concealed any secrets from The Nurse. Nevertheless, the Nurse appreciates the role of go-between that Juliet asks of her. She is quick to warn Romeo not to lead Juliet into a “fool’s paradise.'; This part of the play again expresses the relationship between The Nurse and Juliet. 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. Even though Romeo was raised to hate Capulets and Juliet was raised to hate Montague they both are in love.
The Nurse does not have much of a relationship with Romeo because he is a Montague and she works for the Capulet’s but in Act 2 Scene 5, The Nurse gives her opinion about Romeo. 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 you have made a good choice.
In act 3 Scene 2 The Nurse brings Juliet the shocking news of Tybalt’s death. Tybalt was one of the few that showed The Nurse respect. “Tybalt, the best friend I had!'; “Tybalt, honest gentleman.'; Again now The Nurse has turned against Romeo and curses Romeo. “Shame come to Romeo.'; The Nurse is convinced that Juliet must share her feelings. The Nurse also brings Juliet the news of Romeo being exiled. Juliet and Romeo think exile is worse than death. Even though Romeo killed Juliet cousin she still loves 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?’ Is The Nurse’s incredulous reaction.
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. In this scene at first, The Nurse tries to defend Juliet, by warning Juliet that Lady Capulet is coming and then Romeo departs from the bedroom. The Capulets come to Juliet’s room to inform her that the marriage with Paris has been brought forward. The Nurse is a trusted member of the household; Capulet abuses her when she tries to support Juliet. “Peace, you mumbling fool.'; After the discussion between Lady Capulet and Juliet, Juliet turns to The Nurse in desperation.
The Nurse then tells Juliet to marry Paris, as he is “A man of wax.'; This scene tells the audience that even though The Nurse thinks Juliet should marry Paris this is not what Juliet wants. The Nurse betrays Juliet. She has forfeited any closeness with Juliet. Juliet no longer cares for The Nurse even though The Nurse cares for Juliet. “I think it best you married with the county.'; In this Scene Juliet grows up it is the end of her childhood, even though she is 13 and everything has happened in two days she is so committed to Romeo that she can even kill herself just to be with him. As The Nurse betrays Juliet, the only person she can turn to now is Friar Lawrence.
In act 4 scene 5 The Nurse’s last duty now is to be the one who discovers the supposedly dead Juliet. The Nurse takes Juliet’s death very badly, the same with Juliet’s mother and father. “She dead, deceased, she’s dead, alack the day!'; Her grief is piercing but it seems a fair price to pay for her betrayal to Juliet.
In this part of the play dramatic irony is shown, as the audience knows Juliet is not dead and the other characters do not know Juliet is not dead. The Nurse is the first one to find Juliet “dead'; and when she does she screams. She was in such a bad state that she wanted a brandy. “Some aqua-vitae.';
I think the Nurse is a very important character in Romeo and Juliet. She is a very nice character she would do anything to please Juliet. Even though she is not very smart and she is quite old she enjoys a laugh and like to play around with Juliet. She is a proper mother to Juliet and she even knows Juliet better than her own mother. She enjoys a drink now and again and she is a good friend to Juliet.