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Analyse the character of the nurse - How does she provide comedy and relief?

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Analyse the character of the nurse. How does she provide comedy and relief? Word count: 668 words. Romeo and Juliet is a tale of two star-crossed lovers, a tale much to do about hate, but more to do about love. In a story of tragedy, violence and love the nurse provides comedy and relief from an otherwise solemn storyline. The nurse is first introduced into the play in Act 3 scene 1; she is portrayed as a trusted family servant to Lord Capulet, sharing a close bond with Juliet that surpasses one of a girl and her servant. From a young age she weaned Juliet, 'for I had then laid wormwood to my dug'. The nurse's relationship with Juliet lasted for the entirety of Juliet's life. ...read more.


This is a clear sign of how the Nurse can incorporate humour in the way she acts. She is constantly chattering, making bawdy comment casting a light hearted and easy spirit, her speech is relieving which provides comedy through the plays otherwise tragic themes. 'a sail, a sail', when the nurse appears in the town square searching for Romeo requesting his answer to whether he will marry Juliet she becomes subject to sexual teasing. Mercutio seems intent on telling jokes at the nurse's expense, 'to hide her face, for her fan's the fairer face'. 'a bawd, a bawd, a bawd', Mercutio is relentless, he implies that she is a prostitute, a brothel keeper and that she is the reason for Romeos sudden happiness. ...read more.


Juliet becomes increasingly frustrated by the Nurses irrelevant replies; similarly this would be considered as relief from the events previous and those to come. This scene also re-emphasises the strong relationship between the nurse and Juliet. Another aspect of the nurses' character is exposed in act 3 scene 3, 'stand up and you be a man', for one of the first times the nurses intelligence is shown, using sexual confrontation she effectively blackmails Romeo into achieving her goal. The commands him to be strong, for Juliet; this works and he goes to live in Mantua, and to beg for forgiveness. In conclusion William Shakespeare uses the nurse's antics to break up the play, to provide comedy and relief, an alternative to the prominence of violence, hatred and love. It provides a completely different dimension to the play. ...read more.

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