Romeo and Juliet Character Appreciation Essay: The Nurse

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Every Shakespearean tragedy needs an easy-hearted, effervescent character that will ease the ongoing tension over the course of the play. The Nurse fits this role perfectly in Romeo and Juliet, providing crucial comic relief throughout the darkest times. Some of the Nurse’s most redeeming qualities include her nurturing nature, kindness and most of all, humour. The Nurse acts as the glue that holds the characters together, tying up the entire play. One of her strongest characterizations is her close maternal relationship with Juliet.
For a woman who is not a mother, The Nurse portrays this role exceptionally well to Juliet. The Nurse raised Juliet her entire life and she knows her inside and out. This is most evident when she tells Lady Capulet “Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour.” (I/iii/12) The Nurse is displaying her astounding display of knowledge of the girl she nursed and raised in place of her mother since her birth (almost) fourteen years ago, and has kept track of her age up to the hour. Not only does the Nurse closely a mother in her way of knowing Juliet very well, she is also willing to help her marry Romeo and encourage her happiness. The Nurse passes on messages between Romeo and Juliet, for instance for instance when Juliet sent her to discover the identity of the anonymous man with whom she fell in love with at the party, The Nurse returned quickly and smoothly delivered “His name is Romeo, and a Montague, the only son of your great enemy.” (I/v/136-137) If it were not for the Nurse constantly acting as a courier between Romeo and Juliet, they would have never fulfilled their destiny as star-crossed lovers.
The Nurse is also exceptionally kind to others, despite the tragic events she experienced in ...

... middle of paper ... And yet, to my teen be it spoken, I have but four, - She is not fourteen.” (I/iii/13-15) The Nurse includes little jokes like her dwindling supply of teeth into daily debacles about age. She can always be relied on to strike playful banter, making her a very easy character to like and piecing together the rough edges of Romeo and Juliet.
The Nurse is a key character in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, playing the essential part of the messenger between lovers, proving her kindness as well as maternal love to Juliet and adding important comic relief to help cast a lighter shade over the dark themes of the tragedy. If it weren’t for the Nurse in the play, the threads holding the play together may likely come loose, leaving Juliet without a mother, the star-crossed lovers’ relationship to cease, no one to crack bawdy comments and the play in tatters.

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that every shakespearean tragedy needs an easy-hearted, effervescent character that will ease the ongoing tension over the course of the play. the nurse provides crucial comic relief throughout the darkest times.
  • Analyzes how the nurse portrays the role of a mother to juliet. the nurse raised her entire life and knows her inside and out. she also helps her marry romeo and encourages her happiness.
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