• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

With Particular Reference to Act Two, Scenes Four and Five of 'Romeo and Juliet', Discuss How Shakespeare Presents the Nurses Character to the Audience.

Extracts from this document...


Daisy Donald 11F With Particular Reference to Act Two, Scenes Four and Five of 'Romeo and Juliet', Discuss How Shakespeare Presents the Nurses Character to the Audience. In every good play, there must be a comical character. The Nurse is very good at playing this role in Romeo and Juliet. As the play is a romantic tragedy, it does need some humour, to 'lighten the air.' In the Heinemann Educational Books edition of Romeo and Juliet, there is a short description of the Nurse. It says 'The Nurse is the privileged old servant, devoted to Juliet, prompt to venture an opinion whether called for or not, to speak home truths to the master of the house, to help herself to food in the pantry and no doubt to aqua vitae as well, Her long garrulous account of Juliet's weaning is admirably and vividly authentic. It reveals her professional pride, her struggle to preserve the properties in the face of lapses which she excuses with 'God save the mark', her side-slipping into irrelevances, her complacent self-esteem yet occasional trite humility, and her relish for her late husband's course jest.' We first meet Nurse in Act One, Scene Three. Even, her first line gives us an idea of how nonsensical and coarse she is; 'Now by my maidenhood -at twelve year old-/ I bade her come.' (Lines 3-4). ...read more.


She also appears quite violent and rowdy in this scene, again giving her away for a servant, and not a fine lady, 'I'll take him down, / an 'a were lustier than he is, and twenty such Jacks' (lines 134-135). Again, as in previous scenes, Nurse is inappropriately crude 'O there is a nobleman in/ town, one Paris, that would fain lay knife aboard.' (Lines 181-182) However, in this scene, we do see that the Nurse does truly care for Juliet, and gives her word of warning to Romeo. 'But first let me tell ye, if ye/ should lead her in a fool's paradise, as they say, it were a very/ gross kind of behaviour, as they say; for the gentlewoman is/ young, and therefore if you should deal double with her, / truly it were an ill thing to be offered to any gentlewoman, / and very weak dealing.'(Lines 147-152) In the lines 179-186, the Nurse mainly spouts a load of nonsense. 'Doth not rosemary and Romeo begin/ both with a letter?' (Lines 185-186). She completely changes the subject halfway through her train of thought. This again may be a giveaway of her stupidity. This also shows the way her mind works. How she starts to talk about one thing, and then completely changes the subject. This is a common theme for Nurse throughout the play. ...read more.


(Lines 223-226) Even though she is trying to make Juliet feel better about Romeo's banishment, she somehow comes across as being completely unsympathetic. By suggesting that everything is fine, as she has a better 'back-up', she has made Juliet even more upset that she was before. This is shown when Juliet ironically says 'Well though hast comforted me marvellous much.' (Line 229) Here, I think the audience would feel sympathy for Juliet. She is obviously very upset, and the Nurse only appears to be making matters worse. Overall, I think that the Nurse was created as a character to influence an air of humour in the play. She is not put there to be liked, as she has a certain number of characteristics. But I feel that she could be many audience members favourite character. Being so crude and irritating, she is certainly funny, and it is humorous to watch the other characters reactions to her Daisy Donald 11F characteristics. She plays no major part in the plot of the story, except for occasionally causing more than necessary upset to Juliet. But, it is clear from the first time we meet her, that she does deeply love and care for Juliet, and its only her stupidity, not her will, to make Juliet upset. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Romeo and Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. The Nurses Monologue

    But now she can't have me even if she needed me. Juliet's death has affected me greatly in many ways, because I feel no point for my life now. I may just abandon my job with the Capulet's and try and start on a blank canvas.

  2. Violence and conflict are central to Romeo and Juliet. Discuss this theme with reference ...

    Strong as she might be, Juliet is still a woman in a male-dominated world. Capulet's rage is escalating, as he further speaks: "Graze where you will, you shall not house with me." This implicates that Juliet is an animal. Capulet threatens Juliet with violence and disinheritance if she continues to

  1. Discuss the role of the Nurse in 'Romeo and Juliet'. Paying particular attention to ...

    At times this makes her rather conceited. She frequently bosses Peter around, which highlights her domineering nature. The Nurse looks out for Juliet a lot and makes sure that no man would mess her around. She tells Romeo that if he two times her or treats her badly, he'll have her to answer to.

  2. Explain you response to the character of Juliet, exploring the ways in which Shakespeare ...

    Juliet's father arranges for Juliet to meet Paris at an organised party in their house. At the party Juliet meets Romeo the only son of the Montagues who she immediately falls in love with unaware of his identity as their families are bitter enemies.

  1. Discuss how far you feel that Shakespeare presents the play

    but he is not a bad person, "Verona smiles upon you" and he shows great arrogance about fates warnings, showing great hubris. Many aspects of love are shown throughout Romeo and Juliet. The first two characters that the audience are introduced to are servants, Sampson and Gregory.

  2. In the scenes with Lady Capulet, Juliet and the Nurse, Shakespeare presents his audience ...

    Perhaps Juliet could be angry with her mother for not raising her and leaving all the bringing up to the Nurse. Juliet could be resentful that she does not know her own mother. However, this would only work in a modern context, as in Shakespeare's day, this formal mother-daughter relationship would be normal etiquette.

  1. What does Shakespeare have to say about the theme of love in Romeo and ...

    It also suggests that Romeo and Juliet love is true love because despite the hatred among the families they still remain to together "pair of star-crossed lovers take their life.'' This shows that their life is destined to be governed by fate, and that their love is destined to be.

  2. In this essay I will be focusing on act four scenes one, two, three ...

    At the end of act three Juliet is frustrated, already a married woman she decides to seek Friar Lawrences aid. Act four begins with Paris visiting Friar Lawrence about his wedding arrangements. Paris comes across as a pleasant, courteous young man, who is certainly fond of Juliet.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work