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Examine how Shakespeare's portrayal of the nurse as a servant in "Romeo and Juliet"

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Introduction

Examine how Shakespeare's portrayal of the nurse as a servant in "Romeo and Juliet" In this essay I will be examining Shakespeare's portrayal of the nurse as a servant in "Romeo and Juliet". The nurse was a servant in the Capulet's household. Her main job is to look after Juliet, and she has done since Juliet was a baby. When Juliet was a baby the nurse had the duty to breast feed her "When it did taste the wormwood on the nipple Of my dug, and felt it bitter, pretty fool." This was a reminiscence of the nurse when the wormwood was put on the nurse's nipple to stop Juliet from breast feeding. Even though Nurse has an important role in the household she is still treated and behaves like a servant. "Nurse, give leave awhile, We must talk in secret." Here we can see Lady Capulet is giving orders to Nurse which shows she behaves as a servant. ...read more.

Middle

"Lady Capulet: Enough of this, I prithee hold thy peace. Nurse: Yes madam, yet I cannot choose but laugh, To think it should leave crying and say 'Ay'." In this instance, Lady Capulet has just told Nurse to be quiet, the nurse acknowledges this but then continues to carry on with her memories. All of this therefore shows us that the Nurse is something more than a servant, but more like part of the family. The nurse is almost like part of the family and has a special relationship with Juliet. The nurse had a child of her own which died at a very young age. "Well, Susan is with God She was too good for me." Her child would have been about the same age as Juliet and this is how the nurse was able to breast feed Juliet. Also, because of this loss of her own child, Juliet would have seemed a child of her own now. ...read more.

Conclusion

More affection is shown after, when Nurse returns to give Juliet the news. "Juliet: I' faith, I am sorry that thou art not well. Sweet, sweet, sweet nurse, tell me, what says my love? Nurse: Your love says, like an honest gentleman, and a courteous, and a kind, and a handsome, and, I warrant, a virtuous,--Where is your mother? Juliet: Where is my mother! why, she is within Here we can see that Nurse is teasing Juliet, delaying the good news she returned to give to Juliet, clearly showing she is enjoying it and happy for Juliet. In this essay I have looked at the roles of the nurse as a servant and also the magnitude of her to Juliet and how she is almost a family member. I feel that the nurse has the usual duties as a nurse, but Shakespeare shows that the nurse is more important than a servant, by the amount of speech and playing a vital role in the plot. The nurse is treated throughout the story as someone more than a servant. ...read more.

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