Macbeth Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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In Act 2 Scene 2, can somebody please tell me what the sexual meaning is of "Come In Tailor, here you may roast your goose"? The entire quote is "English tailor come hither, for stealing out of a French hose: come in, tailor; here you may roast your goose." I have been told that there is a sexual joke in those lines. Can somebody please point it out for me? 

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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According to the Royal Shakespeare Company website, "goose" was a slang word for prostitute in Shakespeare's time. Therefore, it is likely, as Shakespeare loved double entendres, that the porter is punning on that meaning of the word "goose" in this line.

A goose was an iron a tailor would use, so the overt or obvious meaning of the line is to invite the tailor in to roast or heat up his iron in the fire. However, the sexual meaning would be the following: come on in tailor, here you can warm up your prostitute, with roasting also having a sexual meaning of warming her through close bodily contact.

In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo uses the word goose in Act II, scene 3 to mean prostitute—so Shakespeare was aware of the slang.

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lmillerm eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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*All information and translations are adaptations taken from The Norton Shakespeare, based on the Oxford Edition.

The information I can find regarding this quote ("Come in tailor. Here you may roast your goose." Lines 12-13), is that the tailor has been sent to the porter because the tailor has not provided enough fabric for a pair of breeches. The comment: "Here you may roast your goose" is interpreted to mean that the tailor can heat his smoothing iron, but also, the word "goose" could refer to "swelling" which would indicate that he is suffering from some kind of venereal (sexually transmitted) disease.

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sampu88 | Student

The quote actually refers to an English Talior who is very skimpy with the fabric that he uses to make clothes for his customers, but since there was a newly introduced trend of tight pants at that time, he would now have to deal with the situation. Thereby, being sent to hell for reprecussions.