How does the Nurse feel about Juliet? How do you know this?

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coachingcorner's profile pic

coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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In the play "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare, the author paints a very warm picture of the relationship between Juliet and her nurse. In thos times, it was considered seemly for a fine aristocratic lady to suckle her own baby so a 'wet nurse' would be hired to do it. Quite often, this nurse would become a nanny for life. So you can imagine how strong the bond of love would be. We see this in the way the Nurse feels comfortable to tease, even scold, Juliet "art thou so hot?" and play little games like pretending to be late or take ages to tell her what Romeo said.She never pushes this too far however - her job depends upon backing up her boss!

missy575's profile pic

missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The nurse loves, respects and protects Juliet like a mentor.

Throughout the play, the Nurse jokes about Juliet (remembering how Juliet fell forward as a child and how Juliet was weaned off of breastfeeding), teases her (won't tell her what Romeo said), and tries to stay right inbetween parent and friend (she knows about Romeo but waits a few scenes before she will encourage Juliet to forget about him).

You can believe each of these by reading the Nurse's and Juliet's conversations in Act II, scene v, and later in Act III, scene ii, and finally in Act IV when Juliet's parents want her to marry Paris.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In many ways, the Nurse is more like Juliet's mother than Lady Capulet is.  She acts toward Juliet as if Juliet were here own daughter.

We can see this, for example, in how she acts towards Romeo.  She goes and meets Romeo and kind of treats him like he was trying to marry her own daughter.  She tries to find out what kind of guy he is.

We can also see this the first time we see the Nurse.  She starts talking about how well she remembers the day Juliet was weaned.  It's like a parent remembering something from their own kid's past.

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