Homework Help

Why does Mistress Quickly go from calling Captain Pistol to Captain Peesel in II.4 of...

user profile pic

bernadettesul... | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 10, 2008 at 5:14 AM via web

dislike 1 like

Why does Mistress Quickly go from calling Captain Pistol to Captain Peesel in II.4 of "Henry IV, Part 2"?

2 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted June 10, 2008 at 11:55 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

The reason why she calls Pistol "Peesel" is because Mistress Quickly has the curious habit of using the wrong words, or as the eNotes study guide says, "speaking in malapropisms":

Her generosity, her nervous confusion, and her tendency to speak in malapropisms (she uses the word "honeysuckle" for "homicidal" in II.i.50, and "confirmities" for "infirmities" in II.iv.58) frequently leave her vulnerable to Falstaff's swindles and jokes.

One theater critic calls Mistress Quickly the doyenne (or senior member) of malapropism.

Sources:

user profile pic

aliy | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 21, 2008 at 10:47 PM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

Mistress Quickly may well have been mistress of the malapropism, as someone has said, but she was also a dirty-minded little so-and-so and would latch quickly on to any double entendre.  'Peesel' - sometimes 'pizzle' - was a euphemism for 'penis' and its similarity to the Captain's name was too much of a temptation to resist. 

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes