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The Nurse's search for Romeo in Romeo and Juliet


In Romeo and Juliet, the Nurse's search for Romeo is driven by her desire to help Juliet. She seeks out Romeo to deliver Juliet's message and arrange their secret marriage, demonstrating her loyalty and commitment to Juliet's happiness, despite the potential risks involved.

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In act 3, scene 3 of Romeo and Juliet, why does the Nurse search for Romeo and where does she find him?

Remember that Romeo and Juliet were only married that day, and have yet to have their wedding night together. So the reason Romeo and Juliet need to see each other, beyond to be together in the time of tragedy, is to consummate their marriage. And that's basically what the Nurse says in Act 3, Scene 2:

Hie to your chamber. I'll find Romeo
To comfort you. I wot well where he is.
Hark ye, your Romeo will be here at night.
I'll to him; he is hid at Laurence’ cell.

O, find him! give this ring to my true knight
And bid him come to take his last farewell.

So she knows, even here, that he is hiding at Friar Laurence's cell. How does the nurse know where he is? Gossip, maybe someone has told her, or maybe she knows how close the Friar and Romeo are - the play doesn't really provide the answer. But in Act 3, Scene 3, she turns up at Friar Laurence's knowing, apparently, exactly where Romeo will be:

Let me come in, and you shall know my errand;
I come from Lady Juliet. 

Welcome, then.

Enter Nurse.
O holy friar, O, tell me, holy friar,
Where is my lady's lord, where's Romeo?

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In Romeo and Juliet, why is the Nurse looking for Romeo?

In act 2, scene 4, Juliet sends the Nurse on an errand to find Romeo to express her love and arrange a time and place for their wedding. When the Nurse arrives on the scene, Mercutio makes fun of her, which upsets and frustrates the Nurse, who struggles to respond to his insults. When the Nurse finally gets Romeo's attention, she refuses to disclose what Juliet said to her in private about him and warns Romeo about breaking Juliet's heart. Romeo then instructs the Nurse to tell Juliet to devise a way to meet him at Friar Lawrence's cell that afternoon to get married. The Nurse agrees to relay Romeo's message and mentions that Juliet has the sweetest things to say about him before she exits the scene. Overall, Juliet sends the Nurse to act as an intermediary between her and Romeo and to possibly set up a time and place for them to get married in secret.

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In Romeo and Juliet, why is the Nurse looking for Romeo?

In Act II, Scene IV of William Shakespeare's play, Romeo and Juliet, Nurse has come looking for Romeo and wishes to speak to him. Juliet has sent Nurse on the task of finding Romeo to pass on some message of love and perhaps arrange another secret meeting, but Nurse has her priorities! She tells Romeo that she wont pass on Juliet's message to him, and that she wants to be sure that he is true to her. She warns him that if he is "dealing [Juliet] double" or playing with her heart, it would be a weak and cowardly thing for him to do. Romeo protests and assures Nurse that he has no such intentions to break Juliet's heart or lead her astray. In fact, he asks Nurse to arrange for Juliet to come to confession at Friar Laurence's cell, where the two will be married. 

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In Romeo and Juliet, why is the Nurse looking for Romeo?

The Nurse seeks out Romeo at Juliet's behest, as an intermediary. She comes to find Romeo, to give him a warning about abusing Juliet's trust, and basically to see what Romeo's intentions towards Juliet really are:

Pray you, sir, a word: and as I told you, my young lady bade me inquire you out;

Juliet has sent the Nurse to find Romeo, to talk to him and find out more about him. The Nurse has been taking care of Juliet ever since Juliet was a tiny child, and is very protective of her. So the Nurse also takes this opportunity to issue young Romeo with a gentle threat:

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; and therefore, if you should deal double with her, truly it were an ill thing to be offered to any gentlewoman, and very weak dealing.

To put it in a more modern vernacular, the Nurse is saying: "Listen, mister. If you're leading Juliet on, that's a rotten thing to do, because she is very young. So if you're just two-timing her, that's a terrible thing to do to any lady, and the kind of thing a weak coward would do, besides."

Following this conversation, Romeo delivers a message to Juliet through the Nurse:

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.

Romeo tells the Nurse, "Tell Juliet to make up some excuse so she can come to confession this afternoon at Friar Laurence's place. And then not only will he hear her confession, but he will marry us." Then he tries to give the Nurse a coin "for her trouble" in coming to deliver the messages.

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