Nurse In Romeo And Juliet Essay, Research Paper
Many of Shakespeare? s calamities incorporate some character who is diverting, delicious, and downright amusing, shooting into the gloom of the secret plan line a note of levity. In Romeo and Juliet, this is the character of Juliet? s nurse. We do non hold a name for her, and yet we know much about her, for she is merely excessively happy to state us everything we? vitamin Ds like to cognize & # 8212 ; sometimes two or three times. Garrulous, simple, and common, she is none-the-less endearing because of her good bosom and her deep love for Juliet & # 8212 ; and even more of import, she is indispensable to the development of the narrative itself.
When we foremost meet her, she and Lady Capulet are looking for Juliet. Lady Capulet wants to speak to her girl in private, but her nurse doesn? T get the intimation ; a opportunity comment about Juliet being 13 old ages old launches her into a joging recollection of Juliet? s infancy, which she can day of the month exactly because Juliet would be the same age as her ain Susan, who died. She manages to flip into this conversation an temblor, the Capulets? trip to Mantua eleven old ages before, and the inside informations of ablactating kids off the chest. She manages, nevertheless, to throw in one spot of boding. She tells Lady Capulet that one twenty-four hours, as the yearling Juliet was playing, the kid fell level on her face. The Nurse? s hubby picked her up and teased her, stating her that when she got older, she would? fall backward when [ she has ] more humor? , and the kid stopped shouting and said? Ay. ? ( I, iii, 41, 47 ) . What she means by this comment is that when girl-children are little, they scamper and trip and autumn frontward, but when they are older, they find themselves thrown backwards in bed. Since the crisis of Juliet? s life will stem from love & # 8212 ; from being thrown backwards in bed, as it were & # 8212 ; this is a important prognostication. Just as significantly, the yearling Juliet agrees to it, merely as she is a willing participant in the events that lead to her decease.
The Nurse is entranced when Juliet is to be betrothed to Paris ; she calls him? a adult male of wax. . . a flower, in religion, a really flower? ( I, 76-78 ) . But she is non so loyal to Paris that she does non see the properties of Romeo as good. More to the point, she is every bit caught up in the exhilaration of out love as Juliet is, and she? s thrilled to be portion of Juliet? s programs for directing messages to her secret lover. When she dresses up to take the message to Romeo, she seemingly looks pathetic ; Mercutio calls her cloak? a canvas? and herself? a prostitute? , doing her to go? so annoyed that every portion about me frissons! ? ( II, four, 108, 136, 171 ) . Romeo tells her to commend himself to Juliet, which so excites her, that she can barely remain to hear the remainder ; he protests that he hasn? t given her the message yet. Before they portion, she makes another prescient remark: that? rosemary and Romeo begin with [ the same ] missive? ( II, four, 220 ) . Romeo asks what of it, and the Nurse has no logical answer because it was merely another of her passing illusions ; but the really incongruousness of the comment will do audiences and readers to retrieve it. Rosemary is the flower typifying the recollection of the dead.
It is of import to observe the manner the Nurse gives her mouth free rein, and besides the extent to which she is driven by her emotions. We can reason that she is an old adult female, but she can non be excessively old, for she nursed Juliet merely eleven old ages before. In all likeliness the ground the Capulets tolerate her behaviour is that the kid Juliet has been devoted to her, and she has evidently been a retainer of long standing in the family. But on occasion the Nurse? s passion for squashing the really last bead of exhilaration or emotion out of every state of affairs becomes barbarous. For illustration, when she returns from talking with Romeo, the Nurse procrastinates a long clip before giving Juliet the intelligence of her darling. Her alibi is that she is excessively tired to speak, and her castanetss aching ; to which Juliet answers, ? I would thou hadst my castanetss, and I thy intelligence! ? ( V, I, 27 ) . Finally the Nurse switches her focal point of ailments onto Romeo. ? Well, you have made a simple pick ; you know non how to take a adult male ; Romeo! No, non he ; though his face be better than an
Y adult male? s, yet his leg excels all work forces? s ; and for a manus, and a pes, and a organic structure, though they be non to be talked on, yet they are past comparison ; he is non the flower of courtesy, but, I? ll warrant him, every bit soft as a lamb. Travel thy ways, dame ; serve God. What, have you dined at place? ? ( V, I, 37-46 ) .
What has she said here? Juliet does non hold good gustatory sensation in work forces ; the adult male she picked is gorgeous ; what he lacks in manners he makes up in sugariness. That doesn? t sound like such a bad pick! And yet once more, in this transition? s incongruousness, we who know the narrative? s stoping choice up something sinister in? you know non how to take a man. ? For had Juliet made the safer pick & # 8212 ; Paris, the count her parents wanted her to get married & # 8212 ; Juliet would hold lived, and in all likeliness so would Romeo. Had she? served God? in the sense of obeying her parents ( Shakespeare ever comes down on the side of the position quo ) , calamity would non hold resulted.
Even more unusual is the manner the Nurse announces to Juliet that the miss? s cousin Tybalt is dead by Romeo? s manus. Actually, the Nurse says nil about Tybalt for some 30 lines ; she enters the room, howling and groaning that? he? s dead, he? s dead, he? s dead! / We are undone, lady, we are undone! / Alack the twenty-four hours! he? s gone, he? s killed, he? s dead! ? ( III, two, 36-38 ) . The last individual mentioned before this effusion was Romeo, so the logical premise on Juliet? s portion is that it? s Romeo who is dead. She of class becomes hysterically upset ; her lone inquiry is whether Romeo has been murdered or has killed himself. It is merely after some 20 more lines that the Nurse references anything about Tybalt & # 8212 ; naming him? the best friend I had? , which of class he wasn? T. She is merely being excessively dramatic once more, thoughtlessly at Juliet? s disbursal.
To the Nurse? s recognition, nevertheless, she recognizes Juliet? s really existent hurting by the terminal of the scene, and arranges a manner for the lovers to come together in Juliet? s bed, for the first and lone clip. Throughout the drama we have been treated to the Nurse? s bawdry gags about sex, and so it is suiting that she should be the one to acknowledge how of import this meeting will be to them. When she goes to Romeo at Friar Laurence? s cell, her theatrical performances are gone ; Romeo asks how Juliet is making, and she describes Juliet? s temper and behaviour accurately, doesn? T meander, and gives Romeo the ring Juliet sent for him. In the forenoon, after Juliet and Romeo have spent the dark together, it is the Nurse who awakens them so Romeo can get away before the remainder of the household finds he has been at that place.
But merely as we were get downing to see a steadfast ally in the Nurse, she shows that the deepness of her love and trueness will ne’er be every bit strong as her pragmatism. The head-to-head between Romeo and Juliet was fun while it lasted. But now there seems small manner for Juliet to acquire out of get marrieding Paris, and the Nurse encourages her to travel along with her parents? wants. Romeo is, of class, banished ; this means he is every bit good as dead & # 8212 ; and anyhow, Romeo was? a dishclout? to Paris ( III, V, 221 ) . Juliet does non reason, doubtless experiencing that reasoning shows more strength of experiencing than it is safe to demo person you no longer trust. But after the Nurse foliages, we realize that Juliet is now merely resolved to travel her class without her.
It is tragic, and yet fitting, that the one to happen the? dead? organic structure of Juliet is the Nurse. For Juliet? s status now is a powerful metaphor for her relationship to the finally loving but unfaithful and uncomprehending Nurse. Juliet is dead to the universe, and she is besides dead to the Nurse. She will hold one more brief minute of consciousness to us, the audience, her new confidantes ; but the Nurse will ne’er see her alive once more.
The word picture of the Nurse, in short, is non introduced into Romeo and Juliet strictly for amusing alleviation ( although it provides plentifulness of that ) . The offhand comments made by the Nurse frequently prove curiously prophetic, boding tragic events that transpire subsequently in the drama. But most significantly, her crude pragmatism makes Juliet? s aeriform romanticism seem all the more heartbreakingly vernal and affecting, and the drama? s terminal all the more tragic.