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Thursday, September 9, 2021

Definition and Examples of Pun - literary terms

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Definition and Examples of Pun: literary terms

A form of wit, not necessarily funny, involving a play on a word with two or more meanings. In William Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, Portia puns on the meanings of dear (costly; cherished) when she says to Bassanio: "Since you are dear bought, I will love you dear.” The type of pun known as an equivoque involves a word being used so that it means two different things at once. In Romeo and Juliet Mercutio says as he dies, "Ask for me tomorrow and you will find me a grave man.” The equivoque can aid a CHARACTER in making his or her meaning plain to the audience even as it is hidden from other characters in the PLAY. Shakespeare's Richard Gloucester says dutifully to his brother, the Duke of Clarence,

Well, your imprisonment shall not be long;

I will deliver you, or else lie for you.

He wants Clarence to believe that he will, if necessary, tell lies to help him, but he lets the audience know that he means he will lie in wait for Clarence, as he himself is planning to have Clarence killed.

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