How does Nurse react to Lord and Lady Capulet's outrage that Juliet is refusing to marry their chosen suitor in Romeo and Juliet?

1 Answer
Apr 6, 2016

Nurse thinks it's time for Juliet to give up on Romeo and just do what her parents are telling her.


Generally, Nurse is used as comic relief, but this scene is important because it really shows what a positive role model she's trying to be for Juliet.

"Faith, here it is.
Romeo is banish'd; and all the world to nothing,
That he dares ne'er come back to challenge you;
Or, if he do, it needs must be by stealth.
Then, since the case so stands as now it doth,
I think it best you married with the county.
O, he's a lovely gentleman!
Romeo's a dishclout to him: an eagle, madam,
Hath not so green, so quick, so fair an eye
As Paris hath. Beshrew my very heart,
I think you are happy in this second match,
For it excels your first: or if it did not,
Your first is dead; or 'twere as good he were,
As living here and you no use of him." (3.4)

-- is what Nurse says right after Juliet asks for comfort. She's trying to convince Juliet that grieving over Romeo forever will not lead to a happy lifetime. Perhaps she knows that Juliet will never truly love Paris, but she still tries to help her anyways through conviction.

But she does make a good point in essentially saying that "Romeo is gone and you'll never see him again; so it's nothing to you. It's in the past." Juliet is young and eager and doesn't understand this.