Books and Movies Reviews

The character and actions of Romeo and Juliet's Nurse in Act

In this scene Nurse has three main goals.First, she wants to convey her message to Romeo: not to mess around with Juliet.Second, she wants to maintain some vestiges of dignity in front of Romeo's mercilessly tormenting friends.Finally, she wants some news from Romeo to satisfy Juliet, i.e. a wedding tomorrow.
Nurse wants to make sure Romeo understands that Juliet, who is from a good family, and has protectors, will not stand for any ill-treatment.The kindly nurse doesn't want her charge's heart broken at age fourteen.In addition, she wants to keep her wits about her in front of the Montagues.She doesn't like them, and attempts to show them up by using fancy (incomprehensible) language, and ordering Peter around. Nurse wants Juliet to stop annoying her about Romeo, and to assure Juliet (and herself?) that Romeo's intentions are honorable.
Nurse's primary obstacle in this scene is her own dim-witted attempt at using erudite language (at which she fails miserably).She is almost unable to communicate her message to Romeo, her word usage is so convoluted. This issue also makes it difficult for her to appear intelligent, elegant and dignified in front of Romeo's wiser friends.Not only are her communication deficiencies evident in her own messages, they are apparent in her interpretation of Romeo's speech.She very nearly delivers the wrong message to Juliet!
Obviously, Nurse never'confronts' this obstacle.Romeo often has to question her interpretation of his messages to Juliet, but she seems unaware of her linguistic flaws. Benvolio makes fun of the nurse's language usage when he says "she will indite him to some supper" (2.4) instead of "invite".She is unable to make Juliet's message to Romeo clear, using "deal double" and "sententious" instead of "double deal" and "sentence"


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