In Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 4, how responsible do you think the Nurse is at this point for the unltimate tragedy?Should she have known better or counseled differently? What is her function...

In Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 4, how responsible do you think the Nurse is at this point for the unltimate tragedy?

Should she have known better or counseled differently? What is her function both in the household and for Juliet? What does she owe her employers?

Expert Answers
missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act 2 scene 3 the nurse meets up with Romeo to help make plans for the secret wedding of the two lovers.

In Act 2 scene 4 the nurse gives Juliet a hard time and stalls before she gives Juliet the idea that Romeo wants her to fake a reason to go to confession so that she can meet up with him and there get married.

At one of these points, the nurse as an adult could have stepped in and said that this might be a good thing for the kids to discuss with their parents. Had she done that, she could have just lost Juliet's trust and Juliet would have followed through with Romeo anyway. This would have removed the nurse from fault, however, this is not what happened. The nurse shares responsibility, but is not solely responsible and this point begins her share.

Her job as nurse is to help raise Juliet, having that role, she has not been hired to be Juliet's friend, but the Capulet's employee, as such she should have reported her knowledge.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You are, presumably, talking about the Nurse here.  I would think that you can say that she is just as responsible as anyone for the ultimate tragedy because she could easily have stopped it.  One word from her to Lord or Lady Capulet and Romeo would never have seen Juliet again.

So, that brings up the issue of her loyalties.  You would hope that if you hired someone to take care of your kids that they would be loyal to what is best for the kids.  That would presumably mean that they would keep the parents informed of big stuff like wanting to get married secretly.

So I think the Nurse did wrong by not telling Juliet's parents.

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Romeo and Juliet

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