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Analyse the role of the Nurse in "Romeo and Juliet" - How responsible is she for the tragic ending?

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Analyse the role of the Nurse in "Romeo and Juliet." How responsible is she for the tragic ending? Shakespeare was born in 1564 and lived until 1616. He was an actor and a playwright who wrote about the history of the people for the people. His plays were however not only about the British history, he also wrote comedies with romantic love stories and romance stories with tragic endings, "Romeo and Juliet" is a prime example of this. Shakespeare wrote "Romeo and Juliet" in the period 1599, during which his plays started to become tragic due to the death of his child. In "Romeo and Juliet" the nurse plays a very important role. She is the person who acts as the link between Romeo and Juliet and she is the person who arranges their meetings. The nurse has been hired in the Capulet household to look after Juliet. She has been living with the Capulets since the birth of Juliet. In this piece of writing I will explain the vital role, the nurse plays in this story. Throughout the play the nurse continually appears. At the beginning of the play the relationship is clear. ...read more.


This is the scene that we can gather her background information. The two sit together reminiscing on the "good old days". She can remember the exact date of Juliet's birth, a sign of a close connection. "Come Lammas Eve at night shall she be fourteen". When Lady Capulet enters the room to talk to Juliet, she dismisses the nurse. "Nurse, give us leave a while. We must talk in secret". The Lady wishes to discuss things with Juliet, but finds it uncomfortable. She calls the nurse back immediately. This shows how the mother-daughter relationship is stronger between the nurse and Juliet rather than Juliet and lady Capulet. Another point that emphasises on the stronger bonds between nurse and Juliet is the fact that when Juliet speaks to her mother she speaks very formally, calling her "madam", the conversation is stilted and proper, whereas with the nurse, she talks very openly and is playful like it should be like, in a mother-daughter relationship, "How art thou out of breath when thou hast breath to say to me that thou art out of breath". The nurse uses many different terms when she is referring to Juliet. When calling on Juliet in act 1 scene 3, she says: "What, Lamb? ...read more.


It is because of this that she loses Juliet's confidence, and trust. Juliet decides to seek the help of Friar Laurence; thereafter she no longer involves the nurse in her secret Plans. The nurse seems irresponsible, for allowing the two to go ahead with the plans and get married. She knows they have only known each other for a little while but she still approves of their marriage and she even arranges it, "this afternoon sir? Will she be there?". She is employed by the Capulet to look after their daughter but allows their daughter to marry this is what eventually causes Juliet's death. Maybe if it were not for the nurse, Romeo and Juliet would not have even met, and definitely if it were not for the nurse no message from Juliet would have gotten to Romeo and therefore after a while the two would have forgot about each other. The nurse plays a critical role in Romeo and Juliet. Her relationship with major characters and her part in the secretive romance of the two lovers cause the play's actions to move quickly and in a powerful way. The nurse acts as Shakespeare's pawn to guide the events of the play in a dramatic manner. Shahrooz Mohammadi English Coursework Ms Payne 1 ...read more.

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