Romeo and Juliet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What plan does Romeo share with the Nurse in Scene 4?

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Jonathan Beutlich, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I believe that the Scene 4 in question is coming from Act 2. When this scene begins, Mercutio and Benvolio are talking. Romeo and Tybalt are both topics of conversation, and eventually Romeo enters the scene. Then the scene gets raunchy as the three teens tell some really dirty jokes. The nurse shows up, and amazingly the jokes get even dirtier. She is eventually able to speak with just Romeo. The nurse explains that she has sought Romeo out on Juliet's behalf, and the nurse is quite frank with Romeo. She warns him that he better not be misleading Juliet's feelings.

but first let me tell ye, if ye should lead her into
a fool's paradise, as they say, it were a very gross
kind of behavior, as they say: for the gentlewoman
is young;

Romeo assures the nurse that he is definitely in love with the girl that he met less than 24 hours earlier. Then he shares his "plan" with the nurse. I hesitate to call it Romeo's plan. He does plan to marry Juliet, but he tells the nurse to tell Juliet to come up with a plan to get out of the house and meet him. He doesn't actually offer any solutions for how Juliet might accomplish this task.

Bid her devise
Some means to come to shrift this afternoon;
And there she shall at Friar Laurence' cell
Be shrived and married. Here is for thy pains.

Just before the nurse leaves, Romeo says that he'll make sure the nurse gets a rope ladder. Apparently it's up to the nurse to figure out how to hang the ladder so that it supports Romeo's weight and isn't visible by anybody else.

And stay, good nurse, behind the abbey wall:
Within this hour my man shall be with thee
And bring thee cords made like a tackled stair;
Which to the high top-gallant of my joy
Must be my convoy in the secret night.

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In Act II, Scene IV, of Romeo and JulietRomeo is out joking with his friends when Nurse comes to speak to him. Juliet has sent her with a message, but Nurse is protective of Juliet and wants to make sure that Romeo is true to her. She is relieved when he says that he has no intentions to make a fool of Juliet, and she promises to share this with Juliet. Essentially, Nurse is giving her blessing to their relationship. Romeo goes on to ask Nurse to send Juliet to confession with Friar Laurence that afternoon, where the two young lovers may be married. He also instructs Nurse to wait nearby so that Romeo's servant may give her a rope-ladder. The rope-ladder is for Juliet to hang out of her window so that, in the dark of night, Romeo can sneak into her room for the consummation of their marriage.

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