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ACT II, SCENE V
While the Nurse is meeting with Romeo, Juliet waits at home. She's very impatient-and who wouldn't be? Haven't you had an evening that was so wonderful that the next morning, you wondered if the whole thing was a dream? This is how Juliet feels. She won't know until the Nurse returns if last night was too good to be true-or if this is her wedding day.
Finally the Nurse returns. She has the news Juliet's been waiting for, but she isn't telling. Instead, she teases Juliet, acting sad, complaining of her aching bones and shortage of breath. The more Juliet pleads, the more the Nurse teases her.
We get the feeling that the Nurse has done this to Juliet before. It might have been a funny game when Juliet was little, but now that she needs important information, the Nurse's prattle seems thoughtless and cruel.
We begin to notice that the whole play revolves around messages, and that the two lovers depend on the message-bearers. If Juliet has this much trouble with the Nurse this early, can we be sure that later messages will reach their destinations?
Yet the Nurse really does care for Juliet. She finally tells her the happy news: Juliet should go to the friar's cell, for "there stays a husband to make you a wife." The Nurse will keep the lovers' secret and get the rope-ladder (which Romeo will climb to Juliet's balcony) so the couple can spend their wedding night together.