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How do different audiences understand the character of the Nurse and her role in our enjoyment of the play?

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Introduction

How do different audiences understand the character of the Nurse and her role in our enjoyment of the play? In this essay I will compare how two contrasting audiences react to a certain character and there role in the our enjoyment of the play. I will achieve this by exploring the writer's craft, the effect of the drama on the different audiences and the creation of characters and how they interact with each other and how the audience responds to them. The play I am going to write about in this essay is Romeo and Juliet written by William Shakespeare and the character I will be concentrating on is the Nurse. Also the two distinct audiences will be a modern one and an audience in the time of writing of the play Romeo and Juliet, which was written around 1595. Firstly the Nurse and Juliet have a very close and caring relationship as we find out when Lady Capulet talks to the Nurse in a room at the Capulet mansion when Shakespeare writes in line 12, page 25, act 1 scene 3 "Faith, I can tell her age into an hour," This demonstrates to the audience how close their relationship is as the nurse self-assuredly says that she knows Juliet's age into an hour. We also know that the nurse is a widow and her daughter Susan also died at a young age and so the only person she has to love is Juliet and so she acts as a loving mother figure and even breast-fed Juliet. Also Juliet's mother Lady Capulet is to busy to look after her and so she sees the Nurse as her loving mother and respects her for looking after her all her life and so the relationship between the two is a devoted one. ...read more.

Middle

So ho!" This quotation points out that Mercutio refers to terms like "bawd" which means someone who profits from prostitution and aims them at the Nurse to embarrass her and he himself Mercutio appreciates the Nurses embarrassment and again when Shakesperae writes in line 88, page 75, act 2 scene 4 "Good Peter, to hide her face, for her fan's the fairer face." Here Shakespeare's language displays a good use of alliteration and also the use of a metaphor when Mercutio compares the Nurses face to her fan. A modern audience would find Mercutio's humour and sexual puns humorous but as for the audience in Shakespeare's time which would find these puns quite rude and feel sympathy for the Nurse. The Nurse herself would fell embarrassed and insulted by Mercutio's humour. The Nurse is protective of Juliet when she visits Romeo in a street in Verona where he is with his friends Mercutio and Benvolio. Here she threatens Romeo about his intentions towards Juliet as when Shakespeare writes "If you be he, sir, I desire some confidence with you." Here the Nurse questions Romeo's true intentions towards Juliet and tells him that she wants confidence in him so that he wont break Juliets heart or lead her the wrong way. This again demonstrates the Nurse's love for Juliet and also there close relationship as the Nurse wants to make sure that Romeo is the right and sensible man for Juliet and she wants to be confident about this. A modern audience would find the Nurse's actions quite sensible and loving, as she wants to protect Juliet likewise would an audience In Shakespeare's time. ...read more.

Conclusion

These were the last words of Juliet, which will haunt the Nurse all her life. Shakespeare uses emotive language when he highlights the Nurses strong feeling towards Juliet who dies by writing " o day, o day, o day, o hateful day!" This just demonstrates how close there relationship was and how much the Nurse feels pain. Both modern and audiences in Shakespeare's time would feel sorry for the Nurse and how she has to live all her life remembering there last conversation as it is the last time they meet even though Juliet dies later after discovering Romeo's dead. In summary the role of the Nurse in this play is that she adds to the audiences enjoyment by the way she uses repetition, malapropisms and furthermore she is old fashioned as she relates back to old tales. All of these are the right ingredients needed to create the comedy character needed in a play. These successful ingredients used by Shakespeare make the audience laugh. She adds that extra spice needed to create the enjoyment factor in the atmosphere. Shakespeare's audience might have identified her with the original nice guy role in the play and also the comedy role and they wait and expect her to say something amusing once they discover this. Shakespeare's language also creates the Nurse to be a realistic person as she so involved in the play and in the minds of the audience as she's made into a realistic character, which the audience enjoy and find her more interesting. The Nurse plays the most important role in this play and at the same time makes the audience enjoy the play more. ...read more.

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