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How important is the rôle of The Nurse in the first two acts of Romeo and Juliet?

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Introduction

How important is the r�le of The Nurse in the first two acts of Romeo and Juliet? We are introduced to the Nurse in Act 1, Scene 3 of Romeo and Juliet. This is also the first time that we are introduced to Juliet, and the fact that we meet both characters simultaneously represents how closely linked they are. This in itself is a significant factor when considering the importance of the Nurse's role in the play, as she has such close proximity to one of the lead characters. It is therefore to be expected that the Nurse will have a reasonably important role to play. The Nurse is a distinct mother figure to Juliet, and the pair have a very intimate relationship. It is perhaps fair to say that this bond is closer than that between Juliet and her actual mother. ...read more.

Middle

"Susan and she... were of an age" is what the Nurse says when the subject of Juliet's age is raised. The way the Nurse groups Juliet and Susan together shows that she regards both of them with the same attachment and thinks of Juliet as her own daughter. Perhaps the loss of Susan accounts for the intensity of the relationship between the Nurse and Juliet. The Nurse is Juliet's confidante at the outset of the play. Juliet feels that she can unburden her heart to the Nurse and confess her love for Romeo. The fact that she is not by blood a Capulet may add to the trust that Juliet has in the Nurse not to reveal her secret to her family. However, I suspect that even if the Nurse had been a Capulet, Juliet would have trusted her as she had substantial faith in her. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Nurse is a very down to earth woman who uses basic language to get straight to the point and speak directly. It is the nurse who identifies Romeo at the banquet and it is she who acts as the messenger between the two, helping with the secret arrangement of their marriage. The nurse plays an important role in the first two acts of Romeo and Juliet as even though she is not one of the main characters, she contributes to the play by acting as a link between the two core characters and also a vehicle for the plot. The Nurse and Friar Lawrence are actively responsible for bringing the lovers together and helping their relationship progress. She introduces humour into the play as well as an authentic sense of reality that uplifts slightly from the tragic tale of events. Jo Cunliffe 11B - September 2003 ...read more.

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