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Romeo and Juliet Act 2, Scene 4 Summary

  • Mercutio and Benvolio still haven't figured out where Romeo is.
  • It turns out that Tybalt has sent Romeo a message that goes something like this: "I'm going to beat you up with my sword."
  • But lovelorn Romeo is in no condition to face Tybalt in a duel, right?
  • History Snack: Many Elizabethans believed that love (between a man and a woman that is) basically turned men into sissies. Being "effeminate" didn't mean you were like a woman—it meant you were too into women.
  • Of course Mercutio also uses the opportunity to take a dig at Tybalt, who takes himself and his sword fighting skills way too seriously.
  • Romeo finally shows up, and he's dropped the depressed "Rosaline doesn't love me" act.
  • The fellas engage in one of their favorite pastimes, talking trash and telling some of the dirtiest jokes in Western literature. You know, just a few bros chillin' together.
  • As planned, the Nurse shows up to meet with Romeo. She looks ridiculous, apparently, and Mercutio can't resist flirting with her, mocking her, and talking dirty to her.
  • (When the Nurse questions him about the time of day, Mercutio manages to turn a description of a clock into a graphic portrayal of masturbation.)
  • In between all these antics, Romeo manages to take the Nurse aside and tell her that Juliet should find an excuse to come to Friar Laurence's church—where she will be married.
  • [FYI: Romeo's keeping his wedding plans from everyone (except the Nurse and Juliet), including his best friends.]

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