Shakespeare - 'Romeo and Juliet'
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Romeo and Juliet Coursework
"Explain the contribution of Friar Lawrence
and the Nurse to the tragedy of Romeo and
a) Set the scene –
The tragedy of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is set in Verona and deals with the tragic death of ‘two star crossed lovers’ who are undone by the murderous feud between their families.
b) Lead up to the question
Shakespeare develops this play towards its tragic conclusion as events lead the protagonists towards their inevitable deaths. At times, it seems as if the two lovers are indeed ‘star crossed’ and that fate is against them. However there are times when interventions by other characters could change the course of the play.
c) Link to the question
Shakespeare has included two characters who play an important part in shaping the play and maintaining the interest of the audience –Juliet’s Nurse and Friar Lawrence. In order to analyse their contribution, we need to consider their actions, decisions and what options they had throughout the play.
Body of the essay – develop these points
· Why did Shakespeare create the characters of Friar Lawrence and the Nurse?
· What did they do? What part did they play in the events?
· Why did they do what they did? (Their motivation)
· What could they have done differently?
· How much of what happens is their fault. Is fate or anyone else more to blame?
· Sum up the points you have made
· Give your judgement based upon what you have said
‘Thou wast the prettiest babe that e’er I nursed. And I might live to see thee married once’. (Nurse p19)
‘For this alliance may so happy prove to turn your household’s rancour to true love’. (Friar Lawrence p44)
‘I am a-weary, give me leave awhile’. (Nurse p53)
‘Oh I am fortune’s fool’. (Romeo p64)
‘There on the ground with his own tears made drunk’. (Friar Lawrence p75)
‘She says nothing, sir, but weeps and weeps’ (Nurse p75)
‘I long to die, if what thou speak’st speak not of remedy’. (Juliet p91)
‘I do spy a kind of hope’. (Friar Lawrence p91)
‘I’ll send a Friar with speed to Mantua, with my letters to thy lord’. (Friar Lawrence p93)
‘If all else fails, myself have power to die’. (Juliet p88)
‘Wisely and slow, they stumble that run fast’ (Friar Lawrence trying to slow Romeo down).