How does Juliet feel about the Nurse? Make sure to tell me what clues gave away the tone of her feelings.

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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 character of the Nurse is very close to Juliet. it is important to know a little about the social customs of the time in respect of the bringing up of an aristocratic or merchant family, in order to fully understand why this is. In that time, it was considered low-class and unseemly for well-to-do ladies to 'nurse' their own offspring that had been born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Posh ladies were expected to be ladylike, refined and perfect hostesses at all times - and this did not include breast-feeding a baby- especially in public. So, a so-called 'wet-nurse' would be hired. Sadly, this could often be a low-bred woman from a nearby village who had lost her own baby and therefore had milk. This woman, in effect, would be the posh baby's 'mother' or Nurse (nanny.) That is where the word 'Nurse' in the play comes from.

dneshan's profile pic

dneshan | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Juliet's feelings about the Nurse change throughout the play.  In the beginning of the play (Act 1) Juliet clearly looks up to the Nurse as a motherly figure.  She sees her as someone that she can trust and who knows more about her than even her real mother does.  These feelings continue throughout Act 2 when Juliet sends the Nurse to find out when and if Romeo will marry her and when the Nurse lies to Juliet's parents and then escorts her to the Friar's cell for the secret marriage to take place.  During Act 3 however, Juliet begins to change the way that she feels about the Nurse and these feelings never go back to being trusting as they were in Acts 1 and 2.  In Act 3, after Romeo kills Tybalt and is banished, the Nurse tells Juliet that she should forget about Romeo and her marriage to him and just marry Paris as her parent want her to do.  At this point, Juliet feels betrayed by the Nurse and completely stops confiding in her; this is why the Nurse truly thinks that Juliet is dead after she takes the potion -- becuase Juliet feels that the Nurse is on her parents' side at this point instead of protecting and helping Juliet.

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