Nurse vs Friar in Romeo and Juliet

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“Romeo and Juliet” has many important characters. The most important of these are obviously, Romeo and Juliet. However, two characters that are almost as important, but extremely under appreciated, are Friar Lawrence and The Nurse. These two characters play similar roles but are first shown to be polar opposites. Shakespeare uses these characters very well to move the story along. Shakespeare also uses these characters as metaphors. The Nurse is supposed to be the heart and Friar Lawrence, the head. The Nurse and Friar are used not only to manipulate the characters but they are also used to affect how the audience is feeling. Both these characters have extremely important roles throughout the play, both very similar and both different.

Shakespeare uses the Nurse and the Friar as two different parts of humans: the head and the heart. Shakespeare uses this theme in many of his plays. It is called The Great Chain of Being. This theme describes the two parts of humans. In the play the Nurse is a headstrong character that has great affection for Juliet and often makes decisions based on what feels right rather than thinking things through. The Nurse also speaks partially in prose, to demonstrate that she is less intelligible than many other characters. The Friar is supposed to represent the other end of The Great Chain of Being. He represents the head, the side that is thoughtful and cautious. This is especially expressed when in Act 3, Scene 3, Line 113 and 114, the friar says that, “… thy wild Acts denote the unreasonable fury of a beast”. The beast of course being as far down on the heart side as you could go. Although throughout the whole play the Friar speaks in verse, both blank and rhyming, because it makes him sound educated. He is built up as this wise character that is always giving advice about taking things slow. He is a hypocrite who goes against his own advice and abandons responsibility for his actions. The best example of this is Act 2, Scene 3, Line

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