Using a quote, how does the Nurse act as Juliet's mother in William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet?

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gkopf | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

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The character of the nurse is very maternal towards Juliet.  As her nurse, she had practically raised Juliet, nursing her from birth.  The way that she speaks to Juliet is kind and motherly.  She lovingly calls her, "What, lamb! What, ladybird!"  She can tell Juliet's age "unto an hour."  The nurse has also been there for Juliet while Juliet's parents were away:

And she was weaned—I never shall forget it
Of all the days of the year, upon that day.
For I had then laid wormwood to my dug,
Sitting in the sun under the dovehouse wall.
My lord and you were then at Mantua.
 
Even the nurse's husband was involved in raising Juliet.  The nurse remembers many details from Juliet's childhood, including when she was learning to walk:
And since that time it is eleven years,
For then she could stand alone. Nay, by the rood,
She could have run and waddled all about,
For even the day before, she broke her brow.
And then my husband—God be with his soul!
He was a merry man—took up the child.
“Yea,” quoth he, “Dost thou fall upon thy face?
Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit,
Wilt thou not, Jule?” and, by my holy dame,
The pretty wretch left crying and said “ay.”
 
Throughout the play, the nurse acts as a confidante and motherly figure for Juliet, whose biological parents act almost in the role of villains in their persistence for Juliet to marry Paris against her will.  The nurse acts as a go-between for Juliet and Romeo so that they can carry on their relationship in secret, and only wants Juliet to be happy.

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