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Romeo and Juliet - Discuss the roles of the Nurse and Friar Lawrence and consider their significance both to an audience in Shakespeare's time and to a modern day audience.

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet - Discuss the roles of the Nurse and Friar Lawrence and consider their significance both to an audience in Shakespeare's time and to a modern day audience. "Star-crossed lovers" Romeo and Juliet fall madly in love within a matter of hours. On the first day they meet, although coming from different houses (Montague and Capulet), they decide to get married. Unfortunately for the lovers it is fate that they cannot be together. After a series of tragic events, the story ends with both Romeo and Juliet taking their lives so their love will be never ending This essay will be exploring two of the characters from the play who can be looked at in more detail. I have chosen for these to be Juliet's Nurse and Friar Lawrence. Although these are not main characters they do provide important roles. I will consider their significance both to an audience in Shakespeare's time and to a more modern day audience. It is likely that both audiences will interpret he play differently and therefore have different views on each character. Juliet's closest friend and confidante is the Nurse. ...read more.

Middle

The play has now aged over four hundred years therefore the way the audience would react to it has changed somewhat. Now that I have considered the roles of the two characters and have discussed their importance, I will begin to state why their involvement in the play may be perceived differently to each of the audiences. The Nurse had a daughter of the name of Susan who was born at the same time as Juliet. Unfortunately Susan died, and so the. Mothers who had given birth and who had lost their child often were offered to take care of somebody else's if they were well enough to do so. The Nurse took care of Juliet and became more of a mother-like icon to her than Lady Capulet herself. It was not unusual in the time of Shakespeare to have someone employed to breast feed you baby and that is what the job of the Nurse' was. This is known as a Wet-nurse. "Were not thine only nurse I would say though hadst sucked wisdom from thy teat" This shows the Nurses' love for Juliet although she is not her actual child. ...read more.

Conclusion

Nowadays, our society is a lot more secular as religion does hold such great importance. Because of this we are probably more likely to judge the Friars actions less harshly even though he has gone against God's will. A Shakespearean audience would more than likely see Friar Lawrence's actions as untrustworthy as religion would have been a part of most people's everyday lives. Although Juliet trusts the Friar as he is a Holy man in Act 4, Scene 3 she wonders if he might have supplied her with a poison. "lest in this marriage he should be dishonoured Because he married me before to Romeo" At the end of the play Friar Lawrence flees to the tomb but still ultimately confesses his involvement in attempting to help Romeo and Juliet. Because of his importance, he is forgiven by the Prince. "We still have known thee for a holy man." He is deemed trustworthy and beyond blame as he is seen as a man of God. Maybe nowadays, it could take longer to forgive and to gain trust in the Friar again as we seem to look over unworthy actions much more thoroughly. Even so, because our society does not value religion so highly this could therefore mean that we do not judge his actions at all and are much less harsh towards him. Maddy Southcott 10Y1 ...read more.

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