Who Is Susan In Romeo And Juliet
Who is Susan in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet?
In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, you would need to pay close attention to the words of the Nurse in order to understand who Susan is. Although the Nurse has been with Juliet since Juliet was a baby, the Nurse also speaks of Susan, the daughter the Nurse lost when the child was very young. Susan and Juliet were the same age. The Nurse recalls:
Susan and she (God rest all Christian souls!)
Were of an age. Well, Susan is with God;
She was too good for me. (I.iii.22-24)
The Nurse provides a long speech in Act One, scene three, where we learn not only that she had a daughter named Susan who has died, but that the Nurse was Juliet's nursemaid, breastfeeding her until the time came for her to be weaned. We can also understand from reading between the lines that here is the basis for the Nurse's connection to Juliet, and why she is so dedicated to her. In many ways, Juliet may have taken up a place in the Nurse's heart when she lost her own daughter.
To answer this question, take a look at Act I, Scene III, and the conversation between the Nurse and Lady Capulet. When trying to work out Juliet's age, the Nurse mentions that she and Susan were born on the same day. Susan was, therefore, the Nurse's daughter. Like Juliet, Susan was born on Lammas Eve, fourteen years earlier.
Unfortunately, Susan is no longer living, as the Nurse explains to Lady Capulet:
"Well, Susan is with God."
In other words, Susan is in heaven. The Nurse does not reveal how Susan died. Instead, she tells Lady Capulet that Susan was "too good" for her. This suggests that the Nurse still retains a considerable strength of feeling towards Susan and that she truly laments her daughter's death.
Susan is not mentioned in the play again but her brief appearance in the text helps to emphasize the Nurse's soft and maternal nature.