preview

Juliet's Nurse Is the Difference Between William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Arthur Brooke's The Tragicall History of Romeus and Julie

Decent Essays
A key difference between William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Arthur Brooke's The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet is the character and role of Juliet's Nurse. In Shakespeare's rendition of Brooke's poem, the Nurse prides herself for raising Juliet (Act I, scene iii, 16-48). She even feels as though she is above Lady Capulet because she breast-fed Juliet, something that Lady Capulet would never do. The Nurse has essentially raised Juliet and helped shape her into the teenager she is now. The depth of this relationship causes the Nurse to have a maternal relationship with Juliet, which is in contrast to the cold, impassionate relationship Juliet has with her actual mother. The Nurse regards Juliet as her daughter, especially…show more content…
The drastic change between Shakespeare's Nurse and Brooke's Nurse is a result of numerous necessary factors. In Romeus and Juliet, Juliet is sixteen and well on her way to becoming an adult, whereas in Romeo and Juliet, Juliet is thirteen and still in need of a wise character to guide her through her early adolescence. Shakespeare's Nurse provides this guidance that Juliet so desperately needs when she falls in love for the first time. There is no need for such guidance for Brooke's Juliet because she is already a young lady. Whatever the reason behind depicting the character of the Nurse as such, both Shakespeare and Brooke use her character to teach the audience. In Shakespeare's version, the Nurse attempts to speak in blank verse in: Act I, scene iii, 16-48; Act III, scene ii, 43-51; and Act IV, scene v, 49-54, when in the presence of those of high social class, including: Lady Capulet, Juliet, Lord Capulet and Paris. As a result of frequent malapropism, she only succeeds in embarrassing herself. Speech in blank verse is a characteristic unique to those of a higher class in Shakespeare's work, and the Nurse's poor attempts to speak in it are an insult to those ranked above her. Shakespeare is arguing that although the Nurse plays a major role in Juliet's life, she is still just a servant, and because of that she should still behave as a servant. To Shakespeare,
    Get Access