A double entendre is a literary tool that may be described as a word or a parent of speech that would have multiple senses, interpretations, or two distinctive meanings, or which might be understood in two special ways. Oxford Dictionary says that it “conveys an indelicate which means.” The first that means in double entendre is normally straightforward, at the same time as the second one which means is ironic, risqué, or inappropriate.
Examples of Double Entendre in Literature
Double entendre is utilized in literature, regular life, films, magazines, and newspapers to criticize and offer entertainment, and occasionally to make people snigger. It is broadly used for insinuation and irony. William Shakespeare and Geoffrey Chaucer have made use of double entendre of their works.
Example #1: The 2,548 Best matters Anybody Ever Said (By Robert Byrne )
“Marriage is a excellent institution, however I’m not ready for an institution.” (Mae West)
The word “institution” in connection with marriage has meanings in here. One, it refers to marriage as an vital custom of a society. Two, marriage is something that will reason an individual to visit a mental institution.
Example #2: Romeo and Juliet (By William Shakespeare)
Nurse: “God ye suitable morrow, gentlemen.”
Mercutio: “God ye top den, truthful gentlewoman.”
Nurse: “Is it properly den?”
Mercutio: ” ‘Tis no less, I inform you; for the bawdy hand of the dial is now upon the prick of noon.”
Nurse: “Out upon you! What a man are you!”
The target audience might also surprise why the nurse reacted negatively whilst Mercutio become it seems that stating the time. This is due to the fact he became saying something quite unique … something that is sexual in which means: bawdy, meaning “lustful,” and prick, that means “penis.”
Example #3: Are You Being Served (By Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft)
Mrs. Slocombe: “Before we pass any further, Mr. Rumbold, Miss Brahms and I would love to complain about the state of our drawers. They’re a wonderful disgrace.”
Mr. Rumbold: “Your what, Mrs. Slocombe?”
Mrs. Slocombe: “Our drawers. They’re sticking. And it’s always the same in damp weather.”
Mr. Rumbold: “Really…”
Mrs. Slocombe: “They despatched a man who put beeswax on them, however that made them worse.”
Mr. Rumbold: “I’m now not surprised.”
Miss Brahms: “I suppose they need sandpapering.”
Underwear and the sliding a part of a cabinet (where objects are placed) are both called “drawers.” One can’t help however laugh when one thinks of drawers as underwear, and hears the characters say their drawers are “sticking,” and are thus “a advantageous disgrace,” and when a man “…positioned beeswax on them,” which “… made them worse.”
Example #4: The Odyssey (By Homer)
It takes place that Odysseus lands at the island of one-eyed massive Polyphemus and enters his caves along with his twelve valiant soldiers. However, he is caught and imprisoned whilst the Cyclops closed its door with a huge stone wheel. When the Cyclops asks his call, he tells him that his name is “Nobody” after which plans along with his surviving soldiers to blind him with a log made warm and sharpened with knives. When they succeed, the Cyclops cries out at the pinnacle of his voice saying, “Nobody has hurt me. Nobody goes to kill me.”
Here, “Nobody” has been used as a double entendre as it has double meanings. On the one hand, it means that “Nobody” this is Odysseus has blinded him at the same time as then again it manner that nobody has done this to the Cyclops.
Function of Double Entendre
As double entendre is a word that expresses double meanings, the reason of the usage of double entendre is generally to articulate one factor perfectly and indirectly. This is typically an insult, or an insinuation. Shakespeare made use of this device to add humor to his work. If the target audience is ready to recognize the extraordinary meanings that the actors or characters are seeking to convey, double entendres will without a doubt create laughter, or put forward a certain suggestion.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw