Romeo and Juliet, the tragedy by William Shakespeare everybody has heard of, has a lot of puns in it. It is a story of two lovers and things that are happening to them. Romeo and Juliet begins with a triple pun on the world collier (coal vendor) which sounds like choler (anger) and collar (hangman’s noose). Below are many puns from Romeo and Juliet.
Benvolio, Romeo, and Mercutio pun about light
Benvolio: But let them measure us by what they will; We’ll measure them a measure, and be gone.
Romeo: Give me a torch; I am not for this ambling. Being but heavy, I will bear the light.
Mercutio: Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance.
Romeo: Not I, believe me. You have dancing shoesWith nimble soles. I have a soul of lead. So stakes me to the ground I cannot move.
Romeo and Mercutio sexual pun
Mercutio: Nay, I am the very pink of courtesy.
Romeo: Pink for flower.
Romeo: Why, then is my pump well flowered.
Mercutio’s pun in Act III
…ask for me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man.
Lady Capulet and Nurse Juliet Pun
I’ll lay fourteen of my teeth–
And yet, to my teen be it spoken, I have but four–
She is not fourteen.
Sampson Pun from the first scene
Gregory, upon my word, we’ll not carry coals.
Romeo and Mercutio pun from act 1
Romeo: Not I, believe me. You have dancing shoes / With nimble soles; I have a soul of lead
The pun is on the word “soles” of shoes doubling for Romeo’s “soul of lead”.
Mercutio: Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man.
Romeo and Mercutio pun about love
Mercutio: You are a lover; borrow Cupid’s wings, And soar with them above a common bound.
Romeo: I am too sore enpierced with his shaft To soar with his light feathers, and so bound, I cannot bound a pitch above dull woe: Under love’s heavy burden do I sink.
Puns from Juliet, Nurse, Gregory, Mercutio, and Sampson
- Sampson: Gregory, o’ my word, we’ll not carry coals. Gregory: No, for then we should be colliers. Sampson: I mean, an [if] we be in choler, we’ll draw. Gregory: Ay, while you live, draw your neck out o’ the collar
- Gregory: The quarrel is between our masters and us their men. Sampson: ‘Tis all one, 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.
- Juliet: Give me my Romeo and when I shall die … .
- Juliet: Oh I have bought the mansion of love … , and though I am sold, Not yet enjoyed.
- Mercutio: Come, he hath hid himself among these trees. Oh, Romeo, that she were, Oh, that she were.
- Juliet: Yea, noise? Then I’ll be brief. O happy dagger! This is thy sheath; there rest, and let me die.
- Nurse: I must another way, To fetch a ladder, by the which your love Must climb a bird’s nest soon when it is dark.