In this essay, I will examine and describe the relationships of Juliet – the sweet girl who is in love with Romeo, Nurse – who is the minder of Juliet, Mercutio – Romeos dear friend and Tybalt- who is an enemy of Romeo. These characters are all from the play Romeo and Juliet, which is written by William Shakespeare.
Juliet is a young, beautiful teenager who is aged 14. Juliet is set to marry Paris because of her mother, father and the nurse who think that Paris should be a good husband. Veronas summer hath not such a flower…Nah, hes a flower, in faith a very flower (Pg 55). This quote shows that the nurse and Lady Capulet greatly admire Paris and think he is very handsome.
When Juliet first meets Romeo, they fall instantly in love and they decide to get married, but Juliet discovers that Romeo is a Montague. Tis, but thy name is my enemy…thou art myself, through not a Montague. This quote shows, even though Romeo is a Montague she still loves him and she is willing to give up her name as a Capulet to be with Romeo.
Tybalt is a fiery character who loves a good fight. This is a contrast to Juliet’s character as Juliet is very kind and loving and Tybalt is a very evil man who loves fighting. Tybalt is Juliets cousin and a Capulet. I think this is why he holds a grudge against Romeo because they are from rivalling families. Tybalt has no sense of fun and is often too serious. There are many similarities between Lord Capulet and Tybalt because both characters have the same beliefs and are very up front. Tybalt is also a family man who honours family members and tradition.
The nurse is a middle-aged carer. She is a carer for Juliet and looks after her. Mr and Mrs Capulet pay her to look after Juliet when they are not present. The nurse is a loving character, who acts like a mother to Juliet. However, her marriage opinion differs from that of Lady Capulet.
Mercutio is Romeos friend he is a true friend to Romeo. Mercutio is very humorous and loves to joke. He is very loyal to his true friend Romeo. This loyalty is shown when Mercutio dies for his friend. Tybalt and Mercutio have a big rivalry and are always fighting, as a result Mercutio dies fighting with Tybalt. This big rivalry is finally, unleashed when Mercutio is killed. This fight began because of Romeo as Mercutio was standing up for him. This shows Mercutios loyalty.
As well as being similar, all the characters are different from one another; characters like Tybalt and the nurse do not know each other that well. Tybalt and the nurse do not meet in the play. On the other hand, Juliet and the nurse who have a good relationship and talk regularly in the play. This is very contrasting in side the Capulet family, as many of the family members do not have a very close relationship such as Juliet and Tybalt. Juliet and Tybalt do not have a close relationship, as they are cousins they do know of each other but are not very fond of each other. Juliet and Mercutio have a good relationship because Romeo is in love with Juliet, so Mercutio is always hearing of all of Romeos love problems with Juliet.
Tybalt and the Nurse never speak to each other but do know of each other because their friends have spoken of them.
Shakespeare portrays each character differently, in the way they speak in the play. He uses different types of languages for each character. Shakespeare describes Juliet as a helpless, young, love truck girl. In the play, Juliet speaks in prose as someone who is lost in a big world. Juliet talks a lot about Romance. Oh, Romeo, Romeo wherefore art thou Romeo. This quote tells us she is a young and madly in love Romeo.
The nurse talks as if she is the mother in the play and as a substitute to Lady Capulet. As we know already, she acts as a mother towards Juliet. Thou wast the prettiest baby that eer I nursed. This quote tells us that the nurse is a dedicated and loving mother. The nurse is also portrayed as a mother who thinks she knows best for the child. This shown when the nurse tries to persuade Juliet to marry Paris for her own good.
The nurse is also a very low class woman; we can tell this by the way that she speaks in the play. The nurse speaks in prose and not in verse. This means that the nurse is in a lower class, which means she is of a lower status. This may mean that the nurse feels insecure and will show her feelings towards the last person she talks to, this is shown when she is talking to Lady Capulet. Lord, Lord, she will be joyful women. At this point, the Nurse is obviously thrilled that Juliet is marrying Romeo.
However, later in the play the nurses opinion has changed. O Tybalt, Tybalt, the best friend I had…these griefs, these woes, these sorrows. This shows the change in opinion, this opinion is not her opinion but a biased view to what Lady Capulet is thinking.
Tybalt is always talking about fighting or getting into a brawl, which is why Shakespeare portrays Tybalt as someone who talks his mind and very directly. We see this fiery character in act 1 scene 1, where Tybalt and Benvolio are fighting. Talks of peace, I hate the word, as I hate hell, and hate thee. These quotes show how Shakespeare portrays Tybalt in the play. This fighting attitude is also reflected with his grudge against the Montagues and how he treats their family.
Shakespeare describes Mercutio as a fun and humorous character but who is willing to fight for his pride. Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance…If love be rough with you, be rough with love. These quotes show us how Mercutio makes everything into a joke but still gives good advice. This quote also shows me that Mercutio thinks that Romeo should not be in love if it brings so much pain. This shows that Mercutio has a serious side but does not like to bring it out.
Romeo and Juliet contain tragedy as the main genre. The book Romeo and Juliet was written in 1567 and performed first at 1595. When the play was written, the play related to the social ideals of the time. The social ideals where performed in the play when young Juliet had a fixed marriage to Paris. This was very common at the time in 1595.
The importance of the relationships in the play are evident. Romeo and Juliets relationship is the most important because the whole play is based around these characters. The purpose of these two characters is to guide the audience through love, drama and of course tragedy. Shakespeare has put these characters in the play because it keeps the audience interested and intrigued. These characters die in the play to reflect the mood of the play. Romeo dies in the play after swallowing some poison. Juliet dies in the play after she stabs herself with a dagger after finding out that Romeo has killed himself. Mercutio dies when he is killed after protecting Romeo.
Romeo then gets his own back when he kills Tybalt. The whole plot is over exaggerated with all the rivalries, deaths and love stories in the play.
The nurse does not die in the play because she is one of the main characters. If Shakespeare does kill her off the play would not survive because she is the mother of the play and a cheerful character who knows almost everyone in the play.
The experience of the characters is very telling. The more experienced characters are less hasty in their decisions. An example of this is when Juliet drinks the poison, after finding Romeo dead. If Juliet was older at this time, she may not have made the same decisions. O happy dagger, this is thy sheath they rust, and let me die. The characters are very young this is shown in their immaturity. The way that the characters act is very love struck. This is shown in the way they feel the pair have to get married.
Some of the characters talk a lot to each other including Juliet and the nurse. These two characters talk in prose. When Romeo and Juliet talk, they talk very romantically and in verse. If the did not know each other there would be no love or hate between the families. This feud is because of an ancient grudge between the Capulet and the Montagues. This ancient feud has been between the Montague’s and the Capulet for years before Juliet and Romeo fell in love.
The four characters relationships have a huge effect on the audience. The plot of Romeo and Juliet would not be the same without these characters because each of these characters plays a big part in the play. Juliet plays the biggest part and without her, the plot would fall apart because no one would be in love.
In conclusion, at the end of the play the four characters have had a big effect on the play. It is understood that Juliet played the most important role because she is the lover of Romeo.
Secondly, I think the nurse had a big impact on the audience because she is stuck in the middle of Romeo and Juliet and she is a big gossip. Finally, Tybalt and Mercutio have a very big effect on the play, as Tybalt is the character who gets Romeo banished from Verona.
The catastrophe of Romeo, Juliet, Tybalt and Mercutio dying has a large effect on the flow of the play. The deaths also change the reactions and thoughts of some of the characters.
Shakespeare is trying to send out the message of peace and harmony to the Elizabethan audience. Shakespeare does this by showing Love, rivalry and Death. There is love in the play because of Romeo and Juliet. There is rivalry because of the Capulet and Montague feud that has raged on for many years. The final message is death of Romeo and Juliet. All these factors are important because the theatre shows where the only source of entertainment in those times and for most the only education.