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Fridge: The Merchant of Venice
Fridge Brilliance
  • There's a comedy relief scene before the big trial where Launcelot, the clown, gets told off by Lorenzo for making puns: "How every fool can play upon the word!" To get some revenge, Launcelot deliberately misinterprets all of Lorenzo's subsequent requests to get dinner ready (told to "cover", as in cover the table, he acts scandalized that Lorenzo would tell him to "cover", as in cover his head, since he's a low-born servant who's not supposed to do that in the presence of superiors). It ends up with Lorenzo laughingly admitting that, okay, Launcelot's not just an idiot—he's got some serious pun skills. At first, the scene doesn't seem relevant to the plot at all—merely a quick comedy sketch. Then you realize that it comes right before the trial scene, in which Portia saves the day using Exact Words. Wordplay isn't just for fools, it seems.


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