A plague on both your houses!

In Romeo and Juliet there are some very effective insults. Choose one and research its meanings. Did the filmmakers use it correctly or change it for their own purposes?

25 thoughts on “A plague on both your houses!

  1. Tybalt ‘s nickname is ‘Prince of Cats’, so he is firstly referring to this. However, Mercutio also insults Tybalt’s name, because it sounds like ‘Tibbles’. Tibbles is a popular name for a cat (a rat-catcher.)

    He also calls him a cat in a derogatory term. Cat sounds remarkably like Cazzo in Italian. Romeo and Juliet is set in Italy. Cazzo means the male genitalia. its pronounced “CAT-so”. <-(by adrienne)

    At the time Romeo And Juliet was written there was a popular story named ' reynard the fox' in which the cat was called 'Tibalt'. Mercutio uses this story to tease Tybalt with and continues to refer to Tybalt as a cat, therefore 'ratcatcher' <-(thesilenceRHIAN)

    River, I didn’t ask for a cut and paste. Try again thanks! 😐

  2. ‘He jests at scars that never felt a wound’. It means someone who gets little cuts but thinks they are bad and has a cry bout it. They did use it well.

  3. My shakespeare insult is “rat catcher” and it means a workman employed to destroy or drive away vermin which is the worst job around and something you don’t want to be called.

  4. “A plague on both your houses.”
    Mercutio wants to put a curse on both the Capulet and Montague families.They were the ccause of his death so Mercutio wants to live as a grudge between the two feuding houses.

  5. “You kiss by the book” is said by Juliet when Romeo first kisses her. It means that he kisses according to the rules and with no originality.- A ‘boring’ kiss.

  6. when juliet tells lord capulet that she does not want to mary paris, he says “Hang, beg, starve, die in the streets’

    I think this basically means that should Juliet choose not to marry Paris, he will disown her, and will no longer regard her as his own

  7. A plague on both your houses. It means the person who says it wants the people from both thoses families to get sick and die.They did use it well in the movie

  8. Flower of courtesy : He doesn’t respect people as he should, he doesn’t use manners properly. The filmakers did use it correctly, they didn’t change it.

  9. Quote: : She speaks yet she says nothing
    meaning: : Romeo means that Juliet manages to say things without uttering a word, she is very contained and keeps things to herself.

  10. ‘Do You Bite Your Thumb At Me, Sir?’- Back in Shakespearian time biting your thumb at someone is nowadays equivalent to pulling the fingers at some one.i think that the filmakers used it appropriatly

  11. Rat catcher means to be the person incharge of disposing of vermin (worst job ever). This would be quite offensive to be called this during an argument.

  12. Ratcatcher was a job where you egt rid of pests and was the worst job to have. Ratcatcher used as an insult means that you are the lowest of the low.

  13. “Prince of Cats”
    Tybalt is a fictional character in William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. He is Lady Capulet’s nephew, Juliet’s hot-tempered cousin and Romeo’s rival. Tybalt shares the same name as the character Tibert/Tybalt the “Prince of Cats” in Reynard the Fox, a point of mockery in the play. Mercutio repeatedly calls Tybalt “King of Cats”, referring not only to Reynard but to the Italian word cazzo (pr. CAT-so) meaning “penis”.

  14. “She speaks, yet she says nothing”, upon translating this into common speak, it would become “shes talking, but shes not talking about anything important”. this is an effective insult as it is implying that shes not saying anything important, even thought she is talking. the film makers used it correctly as it was used in the same way it was used in the original plays and books.

  15. a plague o’ both your houses was said by Mercutio on his death bed. Which basically means curse both montague and capulet household’s. various old shakespeare editions have “on your houses,” “a’ both the houses,” “of both the houses,” and “a’ both houses” thanks.

  16. You Ratcatcher.
    A ratcatcher was a person employed to drive away or kill vermin. This was an insult meaning that you are lowly or filth. It was the worst job to have and so therfore it ment you were the lowest of the low.

  17. After Romeo first kisses Juliet, she tells him “you kiss by th’ book,” meaning that he kisses according to the rules, and implying that while proficient, his kissing lacks originality.

    Use your own words Caitlin! 😐

  18. “you kiss by the book ” means you allways strictly do things by the books (the right way),you wouldn’t do things not accordingly.

  19. Rat-catcher-

    This implies the person is worthless and no better than vermin and that they have no class.A rat-catcher was also an occupation at the bottom of the social pyramid so when someone was called a rat-catcher this implied they were the lowest type of person possible. This was used in an appropriate way in Romeo and Juliet.


  20. Here is a longer answer then my other one

    To bite your thumb is the same as to pull the thingers at someone.

    They call Tybalt the king of cats because Tybalt is also the name for the prince of cats in Reynard the Fox.

    A rat catcher was a name wich would be the same nowadays as “scum” which means the very lowest of the low in society ranks.

    When Juliet says to Romeo, “you kiss by the book” she just means that the kiss is very boring.

    He is not the flower of courtisy means that hes is very rude

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