Why Juliet Can’t Wait for the Nurse’s Return


Juliet finds herself growing increasingly impatient as she anxiously awaits the return of her beloved Nurse. However, her impatience reaches new heights when the Nurse finally arrives, but seems slow in delivering Romeo’s message. It is only later that Juliet discovers a simple solution to her longing – she must visit Friar Lawrence’s cell that afternoon if she wishes to marry Romeo.

The Agony of Waiting

Juliet’s impatience grows as she anticipates the Nurse’s return. The minutes feel like hours, and she begins to doubt whether the Nurse can meet Romeo. She exclaims in frustration that love’s messengers should be quick and agile, like the thoughts that race through one’s mind. Time seems to stretch on endlessly, and Juliet questions why the Nurse hasn’t arrived, considering it has been three long hours since she sent her. If only the Nurse had the passion and vigor of youth, she would be as swift as a ball in motion. But alas, many older folks pretend to be slow and unwieldy, unlike the nimble and quick-footed Juliet herself.

The Long-Awaited Arrival

Finally, the moment Juliet has been yearning for arrives – the Nurse enters, accompanied by Peter. Overjoyed, Juliet eagerly asks for news, urging the Nurse to send Peter away. She senses that something is amiss, noticing the sadness in the Nurse’s expression. Juliet playfully implores her to share the news, even if it is sad, and to present it in a more cheerful manner. However, the Nurse, exhausted and in pain, requests a moment to rest and recover from her arduous journey. Frustrated, Juliet suggests that she would gladly exchange her bones for the Nurse’s news. Anxiously, she encourages the Nurse to speak, displaying her impatience once again.

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The Hurried Exchange

The Nurse, catching her breath, hurriedly responds, remarking on Juliet’s haste. She asks if Juliet cannot spare a moment, as she is visibly out of breath. Amused, Juliet inquires how the Nurse can be out of breath when she has enough breath to declare her breathlessness. She then teases the Nurse about the length of her excuse for the delay, implying that it is longer than the actual tale she intends to convey. Juliet demands to know if the news is good or bad, expressing her willingness to remain patient as long as she knows the circumstances. She insists on being satisfied and receiving a straightforward answer.

A Playful Exchange

The Nurse, seemingly exasperated, comments on Juliet’s simplistic choice in men, declaring that Romeo is not the best candidate. She humorously compares his physical attributes, highlighting his exceptional legs and downplaying other aspects. Yet, despite his potential lack of courtesy, the Nurse assures Juliet that Romeo is as gentle as a lamb. With a final word of advice to serve God, the Nurse abruptly changes the subject, asking if Juliet has had dinner at home. Juliet dismisses the question, indicating that she already knows the information. Instead, she redirects the conversation back to the topic that is of utmost importance to her – their impending marriage. The curious Juliet wants to know what Romeo said about it.

Aching Heads and Marriage Plans

The Nurse complains of a headache and the unbearable pain she is experiencing. She exclaims in agony, clutching her aching back. She blames Juliet’s heart for sending her on a wearisome journey that has left her exhausted and in pain. Juliet expresses sympathy and apologizes for the Nurse’s discomfort, showering her with terms of endearment. She then eagerly asks for the news about her love. The Nurse responds, describing Romeo as an honest, courteous, kind, handsome, and virtuous gentleman. Curiously, she abruptly changes the subject once again, questioning the whereabouts of Juliet’s mother. Confused by this unexpected diversion, Juliet playfully asks why the Nurse is changing the topic and inquiring about her mother. The Nurse, equally amused, responds with a humorous statement, suggesting that Juliet’s impatience has made her hot-headed. She reassures Juliet that her mother is inside the house, where else would she be?

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The Solution to Longing

Juliet, relieved by the reassurance of her mother’s presence, playfully bids farewell to the Nurse. She utters a phrase of good luck, expressing her hope for a fruitful outcome. The two exit, with Juliet preparing to seize a happy future, and the Nurse, bearing the burden of more tasks to come.


Image Caption: An illustration representing Juliet’s impatience and longing for the Nurse’s return.

This article was written in collaboration with 5 WS.

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