Romeo and Juliet: Friar Laurence and Nurse Comparative Essay

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Dave Strider
Mr. Egbert
ENG2D
December 14, 2012
Romeo and Juliet Comparative Essay
In many plays and books, the authors tend to write the characters with traits that contrast each other; perhaps to make it easier to identify them. Shakespeare is no exception to this concept. In the play Romeo and Juliet, the two characters Friar Laurence and Nurse are shown to contrast each other multiple times, however, there are also some occurrences of parallels between the two. The Friar acts as Romeo’s friend, advisor, and parent figure parallel to to the Nurse who advises Juliet. However, when the two (Friar and Nurse) learn about the forbidden love, their views on the marriage contrast. While the Friar is supportive of the lovers, the Nurse has more of a biased opinion. Because of their difference in opinion, the end result is the Nurse ultimately betraying Juliet by siding with her parents, while the Friar continued to believe that peace through their marriage could be achieved.

First of all, the Friar acts as Romeo’s friend, advisor, and parent figure. It has been shown multiple times that Romeo trusts him. One example of this, is during their conversation, when Romeo confesses his feelings towards Juliet. The Friar, upon knowing this, immediately says “Is Rosaline, whom thou didst love so dear, / So soon forsaken?” (2.3.62). His reaction reveals to us, that Romeo had previously told the Friar about Rosaline; even though he did not tell anyone else. This shows us that his trust in the Friar was even greater than that of his friends and family. This parallels to the situation happening with the Nurse and Juliet on the Capulet’s side. The Nurse acts as a parent figure to Juliet, and when Juliet realizes she had fallen in love with a “loathed enemy” (1.5.141), the Nurse is the person she reveals it to. Additionally, after Juliet’s conversation with Romeo on the balcony, she chooses the Nurse to be her messenger. This is another piece of confirmation that shows that...
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