Romeo and Juliet

Are You My Mother? An Analysis of Juliet's Nurse 9th Grade

Most modern children grow up listening to their mothers tell fairytales and other fictional stories, but what did they do before the time of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White? In earlier centuries, it was not uncommon for care of small children to be delegated to an aristocratic mother's servants and subordinates. As displayed in The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, the actual mother in the tragedy provides minimal care to her daughter, Juliet. The Nurse, a prized servant in the Capulet household, was originally given the job of caring for Juliet as a baby, doing chores such as nursing her. But as Juliet grew older, the Nurse continued to care for Juliet like she would have cared for her own daughter. In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet’s mother was truly not a mother figure at all.

Taking the role of “mother” in the play is Juliet’s servant, known as the Nurse. When the Nurse first appears, she immediately gives off the feeling that she is an endearing character with a bright personality. The reader’s first meeting with her is during her telling of a comical story of Juliet as a young girl. “’Yea,’ quoth he, ‘dost thou fall upon thy face?/ Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit;/ Wilt thou not, Jule?’ And, by...

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