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function of nurse

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What Functions Does the Nurse Fulfil In 'Romeo and Juliet?' Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet comprises the role of the nurse. Her main functions in this play are comedy, use of contrast and as a confidente to Juliet. We first see humour by the nurse in Act 1 Scene 3 when the nurse is discussing with Lady Capulet about Juliet's age. How Juliet is was weaned eleven years ago so that she is still young to get married. The quote that supports this is "For I had laid wormwood to my dug". Another quote that sustains this sense of humour by the nurse is when she says how Juliet will fall over, "A bump as big as a young cock'rel's stone (cockerel's testicle)." These two quotes show how the nurse uses humour to entertain the audience so they don't get bored. She does this by saying how Juliet is not aware of anything and that she will fall over and have a bump on her head as big as a cockerel's testicle. This is funny because it is irrelevant to what Lady Capulet wants to discuss and it's inappropriate to talk to the girl's mother like that. ...read more.


Juliet is anxious and impatient to find out what Romeo has said about the wedding. So it shows Shakespeare has used the nurse as a source of getting across the message to the audience about Juliet's feelings. Shakespeare also did this to portray that Juliet can talk to the nurse about personal things but not to her real mum. The nurse would tell what is right and wrong. Another way the nurse fulfils this idea of confidente is when Juliet is being forced by her parents to marry Paris. So Juliet turns to the nurse for advice as she is the only one that knows about the marriage with Romeo. Juliet is seeking help from the nurse, who urges her to marry Paris. The quote she uses is "Beshrew my very heart, I think you are happy in this second match, for it excels your first, or if it did not, your first is dead, or 'twere as good he were as living here and you no use of him." Juliet then replies "Speak'st thou from thy heart?" ...read more.


The behaviour of the Nurse to Juliet shows the comedy of the Nurse, she likes to express her views on Paris to Juliet (but in a sexual way). This idea again how a mother should joke and laugh around with her daughter. The one time the Nurse's behaviour alters with Juliet is when the Nurse comes back with news about Romeo's plan. Juliet is anxious to find out what he has said but the Nurse is annoying her by saying how tired she is. So that was the one time that Juliet was frustrated with the Nurse. However Lady Capulet's behaviour to Juliet is unpleasant and despicable. This happens when Capulet tells Juliet she has to marry Paris and her mum is standing there and refuses to help her daughter while the Nurse is trying to defend Juliet. This shows that the Nurse should be Juliet's real mum, but at least Lady Capulet should try to calm the situation down, her husband and comfort Juliet. Unfortunately she doesn't. On the whole the functions of the Nurse where all ended when Juliet died, this is because after Juliet died there was no humour or comedy from the Nurse. Everything came to a halt. It seems as is if Juliet was a mission and the Nurse completed it. ...read more.

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