The Role of Nursey in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
In this assignment I am going to discuss the role of the Nurse and how
she adds humour to the play. Firstly I will talk about the social and
historical background of the play 'Romeo and Juliet'.
William Shakespeare wrote 'Romeo and Juliet' in the Sixteenth century
based on some ideas taken from Arthur Brooke's poem 'The Tragicall
Historye of Romeus and Juliet' written in 1562. The poem was thought
to be boring, so Shakespeare used his ample skill with language to
change it so that it would be dissimilar and much more exciting.
The play is set in fifteenth century Verona. Romeo and Juliet are
children of two very important families, the Montague's and the
Capulet's, who loathe each other and are still feuding after many
His play focuses on the forbidden love affair between the two
youngsters, Romeo and Juliet, and the difficulties they have to face
to be together. For example Romeo is banished from the city for
slaying Tybalt in retaliation and Lord Capulet insists that Juliet
marries Paris even though she doesn't love him at all; Juliet is not
happy with this at all.
The story ends in tragedy when Romeo thinks that Juliet is dead and
takes some poison so that he can be reunited with her again. Juliet
then wakes but when she sees that Romeo is dead she takes her life by
stabbing herself with Romeo's dagger. The play closes with the two
grieving families vowing to be reconciled.
There have been many different versions of the play going back to the
performances at The Globe in Shakespeare's time on a bare stage with
very few props and brilliant actors. The actors wore very expensive
costumes, which were appealing and created more of an atmosphere.
Throughout the Twentieth century there have been a variety of staging.
Shakespeare dresses the Nurse in clothes that are made out a mockery
by Romeo. In the film version directed by Baz Luhrmann, he showed the
differences between the two families in his film by dressing the
Montague family in casual clothes that were attractive and the
Capulet's in expensive designer clothes, which showed their wealth. It
is a tragic love story, but it captures the audience and it is very
I will now go on to discuss the role and character of the Nurse in
detail. I will focus on her personalities, the way she responds to
other characters and especially on the way she creates humour in the
play for the audience.
The Nurse is portrayed as being quite rude, but talkative. She is
always going on about subjects that were not even important. She uses
lots of sexual humour, which captures the audience and makes the play
more interesting. This is perhaps one of the reasons why modern
audiences still enjoy the play so much.
In the play, Lady Capulet,...