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What are three character traits about the nurse in Romeo and Juliet?

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cheer3311 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 14, 2013 at 8:52 PM via iOS

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What are three character traits about the nurse in Romeo and Juliet?

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 14, 2013 at 9:05 PM (Answer #1)

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Juliet’s nurse is protective, affectionate, and bawdy.

First of all, Juliet’s nurse is like a mother.  She is very protective of the little girl she raised from a baby, because she lost her own children.  She cares more about Juliet than anything.  Juliet reminds her of her own daughter, Susan, because they would have been the same age had Susan lived.   Nurse is not all too impressed with Romeo, and tells Juliet she can do better. 

Nurse is affectionate.  She seems to care for Juliet when no one else does.  She gives her advice.  For one thing, she tells her to marry Paris.  Yet when Juliet tells her she only loves Romeo, Nurse concedes and helps them secretly marry.

I will tell her, sir, that you do protest, which, as I
take it, is a gentlemanlike offer.(165) (Act 1, Scene 4)

She wants what Juliet wants.

Nurse also really likes to make bawdy, sexual jokes.  Some of her jokes are stronger than others, but an example is when Lady Capulet tells Juliet that she will not grow less to have a man.

No less? Nay, bigger! Women grow by men. (Act 1, Scene 3)

This is of course a reference to the fact that men make women pregnant.  Her jokes are a good source of comic relief throughout the play.





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