We can gather the background of the nurse of Juliet in Act 1 Scene 3 after she was introduced to the play. In some of the affairs of Juliet’s family, the nurse has been given an active voice, and her opinions seem to have weight in those discussions. She has worked for the Capulet for almost fourteen years since Juliet’s birth. She, unfortunately, lost her baby Susan immediately she was born. Juliet’s relationship with the nurse is almost paternal. When Juliet was born, the nurse was her wet nurse and this factor made her become more like her mother than Lady Capulet. Relationship between Julia and the nurse is highly informal with complete affection, warmth and love. Many times during their conversations, the nurse so much fondness towards Julia such as; when she was calling out to Julia in act 1 scene 3, she says: “what, lamb? What ladybird?” However when Juliet spoke to her mother there was no sentimental aspect in their conversations.
Juliet also never discussed anything related to gossip with her mother but with the nurse, she often sought her council. The nurse plays a very important role in the play. The nurse played a significant role in helping Juliet and Romeo to be together. As a mother figure, the nurse only wanted nothing but the best for Julia. As shown in the play, she disobeys lord Capulet and assists a Montague after she has been for very many years, loyal and obedient towards the Capulet. Playing a role towards the deaths of Romeo was not easy as she was a nurse and her profession was centered on the preservation of life. However she did not expect the devastating consequences when she advocated for the relationship between Juliet and Romeo which led to their deaths. Friar Laurence plays a very important role in the play. His profession was a Franciscan friar, who mostly dealt with research and creation of natural remedies for ailments. He was also a botanist.
When the play begins, we discover that he is very affectionate of Romeo as he nurtured him as his apprentice. Romeo and Friar have a sentimental relationship as we are shown when Romeo confides in him about his new ray of sunshine, Juliet. However, Friar is skeptical since previously, he was just infatuated with Rosaline (Connolly P. 9). He states that” Young men’s love then lies/Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes” (Act 2 Scene 3 Shakespeare) .Romeo paid no mind to his objections as he was convinced of his love for Julia. The Montague and the Capulet families were not on very good terms .However friar saw the union between Romeo and Juliet would bring these two houses together.
Friar Laurence ultimately agrees to help Romeo and Juliet by wedding them in a secret place. Friar however still has mixed feelings about the two as he believes they are just infatuated with each other. However his main purpose was to bring peace to both families hence he agreed to perform the ceremony. This should be highly noted because his need to bring happiness to both Romeo and Juliet comes second. Terrified, Romeo ran back to Friar in need of assistance after he had murdered Tybalt .Friar however tells him the only thing the prince did was banish him from the state and will not be sentenced to death. Romeo then feeds to Mantua while Friar assuring him that he will update him on anything that would be happening to Juliet.
In the next scene Paris comes and asks Friar to officiate his wedding to Juliet however, Friar knows that the act of wedding a bride or bride groom twice when the husband of the bride has not yet passed is a sin against God. Here we see how he is conflicted as he does not know what he must do especially with the knowledge of how he secretly presided over the union of Romeo and Julia. In scene 4.5, after he had lied to the Capulet about discovering the Julia’s dead body, we see that as much as he was conflicted, when he described Julia’s death as God’s will, his high moral standards come tumbling down as dishonesty is a sinful act according to scriptures. Unfortunately in Scene 5.3, Friar Laurence efforts came undone. Both Romeo and Juliet had already committed suicide which only further added more weight to his guilt. His guilt consequently made him confess every event as it occurred which made him feel humiliated. Surprisingly, after the prince heard this confession, he believed it all completely.
In conclusion, the nurse truly cared for Juliet as she disobeyed the Capulet and acted as an intermediary between Juliet and Romeo. The act of relaying these messages Julia from Romeo was done out of love. The bond between a daughter and a mother is very important as this allows both of them to speak openly and honestly about everything. If Julia and Lady Capulet were fond of each other, maybe her mother would have been able to advise her differently on the relationship with Romeo. Her love for Julia is unquestionable however her actions were questionable .Therefore, encouraging this relationship by offering to relay these messages might have been the catalysts of what led to the demise of both Romeo and Juliet. As for Friar Laurence, although he made the wrong choices, his intentions of these actions were right. His impetus for bringing an end to the family feud between the two was a moral decision which shows his bearings as a man of God have not drifted .However much he wanted peace, he should have informed Lord Capulet of what Juliet was doing because it would be of both of their best interest not to be together. The play clearly shows that Friar Laurence was indirectly liable to the deaths of Romeo and Julia.
Connolly, F. Annaliese. Cliff Notes on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Houghton Miffin Harcourt. 2011. Print.
Creel , Angel and Gloriso, Kelly. Romeo and Juliet; A dramaturgical response. Retrieved from:
Shakespeare, William. The New Cambridge Shakespeare; Romeo and Juliet. ed. G. Blackmore Evans. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 1996. Print.