Puns In Romeo And Juliet Act 2

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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You see an entire play on the word goose in this exchange between Romeo and Mercutio. Think about the ways that we today use the word goose. We could use is to say someone is leading us to go all over the place(Mercutio and Benvolio likely felt this way as they couldn't find Romeo after the party) as if in a wild goose chase. We call someone a silly goose when they are being goofy. We may even eat goose. An exchange they even call wit goes on between the two for several lines:

MERCUTIO 
Nay, if thy wits run the wild-goose chase, I have
done, for thou hast more of the wild-goose in one of
thy wits than, I am sure, I have in my whole five:
was I with you there for the goose?

ROMEO 
Thou wast never with me for any thing when thou wast not there for the goose.

MERCUTIO 
I will bite thee by the ear for that jest.

ROMEO 
Nay, good goose, bite not.

MERCUTIO 
Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting; it is a most
sharp sauce.

ROMEO 
And is it not well served in to a sweet goose?

MERCUTIO 
O here's a wit of cheveril, that stretches from an
inch narrow to an ell broad!

ROMEO 
I stretch it out for that word 'broad;' which added
to the goose, proves thee far and wide a broad goose.

This took place in scene iv.

Just before the above moment, the two discuss the lack of courtesy Romeo demonstrated by taking off.

ROMEO 
Pardon, good Mercutio, my business was great; and in
such a case as mine a man may strain courtesy.

MERCUTIO 
That's as much as to say, such a case as yours
constrains a man to bow in the hams.

ROMEO 
Meaning, to court'sy.

MERCUTIO 
Thou hast most kindly hit it.

ROMEO 
A most courteous
exposition.

MERCUTIO 
Nay, I am the very pink of courtesy.

Here connection between courtesy and court'sy (a female bow) is made. The ideas here are sexual. Romeo says he had something important to do and had every right to leave the bros. Mercutio ends up challenging that maybe Romeo was with a girl and her body.

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