Comic Relief In Romeo And Juliet

In Romeo and Juliet, what are examples of comic relief in Act 2, Scene 4 between Romeo and the Nurse?

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noahvox2 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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While Romeo and Juliet is best known for its tragedy of the two star-crossed lovers, we do find some humorous moments in the play. In Act 2, Scene 4, Mercutio, Romeo, and Benvolio are joined on Verona's streets by Juliet's Nurse and a certain servant named Peter.

Because Mercutio is a person of extremely quick wit and a quick tongue to match, he insults the nurse by suggesting that her fan has a better looking face than she does. Furthermore, when Benvolio thinks that the Nurse will invite Romeo "to some supper", Mercutio thinks that the Nurse runs a house of prostitution.

Romeo also gets into the spirit of the light-hearted conversation. When he hears the Nurse ask for the "young Romeo", he jokes that by the time she finds him he will be older than the one she was originally seeking.

Most of the conversation, though, between Romeo and the Nurse is serious as Romeo tells the Nurse about the upcoming marriage between him and Juliet. Additionally, he tells the Nurse that he will have delivered to their house a ladder so that he can climb up to Juliet's window that night:

Within this hour my man shall be with thee
And bring thee cords made like a tackled stair;
Which to the high top-gallant of my joy
Must be my convoy in the secret night.

So, while there is, indeed, some comic relief in Act 2, Scene 4 involving the Nurse, most of the funniest lines are delivered by Mercutio.


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