Romeo and Juliet: the Relationship Between the Nurse and Juliet

The relationship between Juliet and her Nurse is probably the most crucial for the play, besides the relationship between Juliet and Romeo. Shakespeare uses this relationship to guide us through the story, since the crucial and definite events that occur in the play are pictured around the relationship between Juliet and the Nurse. He contrasts the ephemeral and subtle love amongst friends with the strong and deep bond in between lovers.

From the Act 1, Scene III, when the Nurse is introduced to the play, the love and care that she feels for Juliet is communicated with the use of a very familiar and affectionate language when the Nurse calls Juliet on behalf of Lady Capulet. "What, lamb?   What ladybird?"   She then tells us in great detail everything she remembers about Juliet’s childhood and compares her to her daughter, Susan, who was born at the same time and later died. This clearly reveals that Juliet is for her like her own daughter, which is a bond that started when the Nurse breastfed Juliet and continued all along her life, since she took over Lady Capulet’s job as a mother. “Marry, I remember it well. / ‘Tis since the earthquake now eleven years, / And she was weaned – I never shall forget it” She also reveals that Juliet is not yet 14 years old, exposing her innocence to the audience. Furthermore, the Nurse has a very familiar relationship with her masters, she is more part of the family than a servant, and she gives her opinion and makes improper comments in front of Lady Capulet without being asked for them. “No less, nay bigger. Women grow by men”

At the beginning of the play Juliet is depicted as a naive girl from a sheltered, aristocratic background. She is very obedient to her parents and seems not to have though much about her future or her life. She does not have a close relationship with her real mother, who is distant and cold with Juliet. This is also unveiled with the formal language Juliet uses to address her mother, calling her “madam...