What does the nurse advise Juliet to do?

Updated 21 March, 2023
In Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," the nurse advises Juliet to marry Paris, a wealthy nobleman who is interested in her. The nurse sees Paris as a better option than Romeo, who has been banished for killing Tybalt, Juliet's cousin. The nurse believes that Romeo's banishment has left Juliet in a vulnerable position, and marrying Paris would secure her future. Juliet initially agrees to the marriage, but only as a way to stall for time and avoid being forced into it.
Detailed answer:

In "Romeo and Juliet," the Nurse serves as a confidante and advisor to Juliet. When Romeo is banished, Juliet is distraught, and the Nurse offers her advice on what to do. In Act III, Scene 5, the Nurse tells Juliet to forget about Romeo and marry Paris, who is more appropriate as a husband:

"Romeo is banishèd, and all the world to nothing
That he dares ne’er come back to challenge you;
Or, if he do, it needs must be by stealth.
Then, since the case so stands as now it doth,
I think it best you married with the County.
O, he’s a lovely gentleman!
Romeo’s a dishclout to him. An eagle, madam,
Hath not so green, so quick, so fair an eye
As Paris hath."

The Nurse's advice is not what Juliet wants to hear, and it shows the contrast between the older generation's views on marriage and love and the younger generation's beliefs. The Nurse sees marriage as a practical arrangement, while Juliet is in love with Romeo and wants to be with him. However, the Nurse's advice ultimately leads Juliet to come up with a plan to fake her own death so that she can escape her marriage to Paris and be reunited with Romeo. The Nurse is an essential character in the play, as her advice helps drive the plot and ultimately leads to the tragic ending.

Overall, the Nurse's advice to Juliet showcases the societal norms of the time and the conflict between practicality and passion. The Nurse's counsel leads to the tragic end of the story, but it also shows the power of love and the lengths people will go to be with the ones they love.

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