The role of the nurse in romeo and juliet by shakespeare

Essay by VanitaHigh School, 10th gradeA-, March 2004

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Role of the nurse

The nurse's in the Capulets household is the superior to that of a normal servant. Juliet seems to have taken the place of the daughter she once had and everything she does, she does for Juliet's benefit. She is bossy with the other servants, knowing she has a special place in the family. She is a simple soul who is an easy target for Mercutio's lewd ribbing. She is long-winded as well as rather rude and bawdy, but she seems sincere and makes the audience laugh with her rather than at her. As the story develops she becomes more and more a part of the conventional world that opposes and fails to understand the passion of Romeo and Juliet for each other.

In the play, the Nurse serves as a mother figure to Juliet. She is a confidant, advisor and helper to Juliet. It is her relationship with Juliet that gives importance to her role in the play.

The Nurse was the one who revealed to both Romeo and Juliet the identities of each other i.e. that Romeo was a Montague and Juliet a Capulet. She was also the go-between for Juliet and Romeo, delivering messages and notes from one to another. Thus, she played a key role in bringing about their marriage and its consummation.

Not only does she contribute heavily the plot, the Nurse is also vital in the area of characterization. Her vulgarity and pragmatic views of love and marriage are in stark contrast to Juliet's purity and passion. This emphasizes the pure and sacrificial love between Romeo and Juliet. The Nurse's advise to marry Paris and give up Romeo also showed us the change in Juliet when she held fast to her love for Romeo and called the Nurse a...