Give an example of a pun and a malapropism from Twelfth Night and explain it, providing line numbers.

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Here is an example of a pun from Act I, Scene 5 of the play.  Maria and Feste, the fool, are talking to each other.  They say:

  • Maria. You are resolute, then?
  • Feste. Not so, neither; but I am resolved on two points.
  • Maria. That if one break, the other will hold; or, if both 315
    break, your gaskins fall.


The pun here is on the word "points."  Feste is using it to mean a point like some idea that he has decided on.  But Maria is using it to refer to the points of his suspenders -- the place where they are attached to the buttons on his pants.

You can find a malapropism in Act I, Scene 3.  In this case, it is Sir Toby Belch talking.  He says

By this hand, they are scoundrels and subtractors
that say so of him. Who are they?

The malapropism is "subtractors," which ought to be "detractors."