Should the Nurse and Friar Lawerence be considered as confidants in Romeo and Juliet?
A confidant is a close friend or associate that can be confided in and told important private matters and problems. In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet the Nurse and Friar Lawrence are the only characters that know of the love between the two young people until the very last scene. They can definitely be considered confidants to Romeo and Juliet because they are not only privy to the intimate relationship but also offer suggestions for the problems which arise through the course of the play. By the end, the audience may realize, however, that the two older people have failed in their roles.
The Nurse is Juliet's closest companion. In Act I, Scene 5, she is the one who learns that Romeo is a Montague. Thus, from the beginning she knows that Juliet is interested in Romeo. In Act II, after Romeo has proposed to Juliet, the Nurse is sent to find out the marriage arrangements. She is excited for Juliet and heaps praise on Romeo:
Though his face be better than any man’s, yet his leg
excels all men’s, and for a hand and a foot and a
body, though they be not to be talked on, yet they
are past compare. He is not the flower of courtesy,
but I’ll warrant him as gentle as a lamb.
Then, since the case so stands as now it doth,
I think it best you married with the County.
O, he’s a lovely gentleman!
Romeo’s a dishclout to him.
Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain.
I am the greatest, able to do least,
Yet most suspected, as the time and place
Doth make against me, of this direful murder.
And here I stand, both to impeach and purge
Myself condemnèd and myself excused.