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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 3
    #1

    Can someone help me interpret this quote from Shakespere

    This section is from Taming of the Shrew by Shakesphere:

    PETRUCHIO: Who knows not where a wasp does wear his sting?
    In his tail.
    KATHERINE: In his tongue.
    PETRUCHIO: Whose tongue?
    KATHERINE: Yours, if you talk of tales. And so farewell.
    PETRUCHIO: What, with my tongue in your tail? Nay, come again,
    Good Kate. I am a gentleman.


    I want to know what the pun is in this section.
    Can someone please explain
    thanks

  2. #2

    Re: Can someone help me interpret this quote from Shakespere

    In Shakespeare's writing there are usually quite a few different meanings going on under the surface.

    Here the obvious word play is on the homophones 'tale' = a story and 'tail' - the end of an animal's spine.

    But also, in Shakespeare's time 'tail' was a rude way to talk about sexual organs - so in fact this passage would have been interpreted as extremely rude at the time. Shakespeare doesn't let the sexual joke become too obvious, but he used to put in plenty of rude jokes in his comedies to keep the 'groundlings' (the uneducated spectators) happy.

  3. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 3
    #3

    Re: Can someone help me interpret this quote from Shakespere

    i have to describe the pun in detail though. I am not sure why Katherine says in his tounge. Can someone please explain this to me?
    thanks

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