In "Romeo and Juliet", what does the Nurse in 2.4 mean by ''deal double''?

Expert Answers
robertwilliam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

if ye should lead her into a fool's paradise, as
they say, it were a very gross kind of behaviour, as they say; for the gentle woman is young; and there-fore, if you should deal double with her, truly it were an ill thing to be off'red to any gentlewoman...

There's the Nurse, in Act 2, Scene 4. All she's doing is warning Romeo that he has to treat Juliet properly. He's not, she says, to lead her into a "fool's paradise" - that is, trick her into thinking she's really found love, when in fact she hasn't. This is what the Nurse means by "deal double". Romeo, she suspects, might be claiming that he really loves her, but inf act, might only want to get her into bed! The double-dealing is because he's saying one thing, and potentially meaning another.

Of course, Romeo isn't dealing double with Juliet, and the Nurse soon changes her mind. But she says it to check Romeo - and to make sure Juliet is safe in her new relationship.

Hope it helps!