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EXPLAIN AND DESCRIBE THE ROLE OF THE NURSE IN ROMEO AND JULIET

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Introduction

EXPLAIN AND DESCRIBE THE ROLE OF THE NURSE IN ROMEO AND JULIET The Nurse is used by Shakespeare to inject humour in an otherwise sombre play. She is to Juliet what Mercutio is to Romeo. A close friend in time of need , to help whatever the circumstances. From the beginning we are able to see the close relationship they have. Lady Capulet gave her daughter to the Nurse to look after ewhen she was a child and was not present for a lot of it. Also, the Nurse lost her child Susan, from cot death, so she treats Juliet as the child she lost. She was Juliet's wet nurse and subsequently has a very strong bond with Juliet. Even though the nurse brings in a comical element, her role is much deeper then that, and as we read the play we realise that there is a lot of loyalty portrayed by her. Act 1 scene 3 is where we first see the Nurse. In this scene we first start to notice the closeness between Juliet and the Nurse and we realise that her position in the household is more than that of a servant from the way she talks to Lady Capulet. Also we notice that the Nurse know more about Juliet than her real mother. 'Nurse, where's my daughter? Call her forth to me.' ...read more.

Middle

This shows her closeness to Juliet as it is a big secret and Juliet feels it ok for the nurse to know. The Nurse also tries to help Juliet further by explaining the situation Juliet is in and by telling her that Romeo is a Montague. 'His name is Romeo, and a Montague.' With the closeness Juliet and the Nurse have we can see that Juliet feels comfortable around her. This continues for a large part of the play. In act 2 scene 2 the Nurse interrupts Romeo and Juliet again. Throughout the play the Nurse is very busy and active and always seems to interrupt Romeo and Juliet at crucial parts. In this scene Romeo and Juliet discuss the idea of marriage and they decide to get engaged. 'Thy propose marriage, send me word tomorrow.' The Nurse hears of their engagement and even though she knows that its wrong she does not object and does hat Juliet wishes, showing her close and caring relationship with her young charge. In act 2 scene 4 the Nurse meets Romeo again as she is used as a messenger for Juliet. 'Here's goodly gear!' Here Romeo is calling the nurse. 'A sail, a sail!' Romeo is mocking her as she is rather large lady. Romeo is pretending she looks like a ship by the way she looks in her clothes. ...read more.

Conclusion

Juliet's parents then leave their daughter and the only person left for her to confine in is the Nurse. 'Talk not to me, for I'll not speak a word. Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee.' Her father and mother have walked out on her. 'Comfort me. Counsel me.' Juliet is desperate and turns to the Nurse for comfort. Here the Nurse changes her opinion of Romeo as he has killed Tybalt. Tybalt is part of the Capulet family. The nurse then give a sensible speech to Juliet but not very emotional. 'O, he's a lovely gentleman! Romeo's a dishclout to him.' She has changed her feelings towards Romeo and now wants Juliet to marry Paris. For the first time in the play we see that Juliet feels she can no longer have faith in the nurse and so she goes to Friar Lawrence for help. The Nurse plays a critical role in 'Romeo and Juliet'. She has a relationship with the major characters in the play and helps with a secret love affair between Romeo and Juliet. She also is humorous, witty and flirtatious which gives the audience some amusement throughout the play. She is Juliet's confidant and closest friend, however her lack of understanding of true love and passion comes between her and Juliet, to the extent that the heroin feels that she could no longer trust her life-long friend. There is no doubt however, that without the Nurse, the tale of Romeo and Juliet the two star-crossed lover, could never have taken place. ...read more.

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