Juliet's Nurse Is the Difference Between William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Arthur Brooke's The Tragicall History of Romeus and Julie

Juliet's Nurse Is the Difference Between William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Arthur Brooke's The Tragicall History of Romeus and Julie

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A key difference between William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Arthur Brooke's The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet is the character and role of Juliet's Nurse.
In Shakespeare's rendition of Brooke's poem, the Nurse prides herself for raising Juliet (Act I, scene iii, 16-48). She even feels as though she is above Lady Capulet because she breast-fed Juliet, something that Lady Capulet would never do. The Nurse has essentially raised Juliet and helped shape her into the teenager she is now. The depth of this relationship causes the Nurse to have a maternal relationship with Juliet, which is in contrast to the cold, impassionate relationship Juliet has with her actual mother. The Nurse regards Juliet as her daughter, especially since her own daughter has died, along with her husband, before the start of the play. Juliet is the only person left in Verona that the Nurse loves, and it is this love that motivates the Nurse to aid Juliet on many occasions. She voluntarily acts as a messenger between Romeo and Juliet (Act II, scene iv) and vows to keep quiet about their relationship. It is Juliet's dependence on the Nurse that allows the audience to better understand Juliet's hopelessness when the Nurse refuses to continue to help her and instead advises her to marry Paris (Act III, scene v, 215- 228). The fact that Juliet has lost the one person who constantly supported her creates a feeling of pity Juliet as she makes a desperate attempt to marry Romeo all by herself.
The loving, compassionate, and wise Nurse in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is not at all the one expressed in Brooke's The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet. In this version, the Nurse's motive behind her involvement is not due to a wish to see Juliet h...


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...hes the lesson of respect of social class.
Although the Nurse still meets a tragic end in Brooke's poem, she teaches the audience a slightly different lesson. In Brooke's version, the Nurse acts on the behalf of Juliet greedily and without compassion, which results in her exile at the end of the poem for being a cause of the tragedy (2986). Though her exile, Brooke illustrates the evil of greed as the Nurse, being only a servant, had no reason to get involved in Juliet's love affair, but does so anyway because of the money involved. The Nurse finds herself in a bad situation because of her greed, and therefore is exiled.
Interestingly enough, both Brooke and Shakespeare, though creating different versions of Juliet's Nurse, manage to teach a lesson to the audience through her faults, revealing the truth that it is ultimately one's faults that reveal their fate.

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