What is the relationship between Juliet and the Nurse with textual reference to "Romeo and Juliet"?

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amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We find in Act I scenes 3-5 that the nurse is not only a servant in the Capulet household, but also Juliet's companion, confidant, and surragate mother.  Because she is a companion and close friend to Juliet, the nurse is present in private family conversations and knows more than the other servants in the household would.  Juliet responds more familiarly and happily to the nurse than she does her own mother.  It is possible that the nurse is actually distantly related in some way to the Capulet family, since it is historically accurate that a widowed woman would be placed in positions like the nurse finds herself in as a way to take care of family members who have lost the breadwinner of their immediate family.  At any rate, Juliet has been cared for since infancy by the nurse.  In the play, it is revealed that the nurse has lost her own daughter, Susan, and it is obvious that she treats Juliet as she would her own child.  Juliet loves and trusts the nurse, or the nurse would not have been trusted with the errands and information that Juliet makes her privy to--her messages to Romeo, their plans to be married, the consummation of their marriage, and the plan to foil a second marriage to Paris.