Puns In Romeo And Juliet

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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"Romeo and Juliet" begins with a triple pun on the word collier (coal vendor) which sound like choler (anger) and collar(hangman's noose). (I,i,1-4)

Here are some others:

Give me a torch.  I am not for this ambling./Being but heavy(sad, weighing much) I will bear the light (brightness, weighing little). (I,iv,1-2) 

Not I, believe me You have dancing shoes /With nimble soles.  I have a soul of lead/So stakes me to the ground I cannot move. (I,iv,4-6)

...What dost thou make us minstrels? An thou makes mistrels of us, look to hear nothing but discords (off-key notes/disagreements). (III, i, 34-35)

We see the ground (earth/reason) whereon these woes do lie,/But the true ground of all these piteous woes/We cannot without circumstance descry. (V,iii,179-181)

lynn30k's profile pic

lynn30k | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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Shakespeare wrote some great puns in Romeo and Juliet.  I can't give you 10, but my favorite is Mercutio's in Act III, when he realizes he has been fatally wounded:

...ask for me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man.

Grave meaning "serious", but in this case, dead.

jvbellon's profile pic

jvbellon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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Mercutio:  Nay, I am the very pink of courtesy.

Romeo:  Pink for flower.

Mercutio: Right.

Romeo:  Why, then is my pump well flowered.

Well, folks...they aren't talking about pumps or flowers.  So many sexual puns in this play - this is but one.

discussion's profile pic

discussion | College Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

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"Dreamers often lie" is my favorite too...

Here's another exchange:

Sampson: I will show myself a tyrant. When I have fought with the men, I will be cruel with the maids, and cut off their heads.

Gregory: The heads of the maids?

Sampson: Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads; take it in what sense thou wilt.


Mercutio: Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance.

Romeo: Not I, believe me. You have dancing shoes.
With nimble soles; I have a soul of lead
So stakes me to the ground I cannot move.

If not puns, then an interesting play on words and double entendres.

little-alice's profile pic

little-alice | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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My favorite pun in Romeo and Juliet is said by Mercutio

"And we mean well in going to this mask, but 'tis no wit to go."

"Why, may one ask?"

"I dreamt a dream tonight."

"And so did I."

"Well, what was yours?"

"That dreamers often lie."

"In bed asleep while they do dream things true."

Act one scene four.

With Love and Care,


iknoweverything1's profile pic

iknoweverything1 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

ok for the second pun that the teacher at communit Jr. college had it's:

"Give me a torch, I am not for this ambling. Being but heavy I will bear the light" (1.4.11-12).