Capulet:       What noise is this?
               Give me my long sword, ho!
Lady Capulet:  A crutch! A crutch! Why call you for a sword?

A warning to all young thespians, Capulet is NOT calling his wife a ho! I learned this lesson the hard way.

I was in 9th grade English class, and we had to perform scenes from Shakespeare's Romeo and Julliet in groups of about 5 or 6. My group was assigned Act 1, Scene 1. I should add that this was in the first month or so of high school, and I barely knew anyone. So anyway, there we were, reading our lines from the books. I, of course, was Capulet. I had never read the scene prior to this, so I had no idea that the line was coming. In retrospect, it's pretty obvious that the "ho!" was a battle cry of sorts, and not a derogatory familiar term. Without even thinking about it, I brazenly read:

Give me my long sword, ho...!


...with my tone of voice clearly indicating that I was, in fact, speaking to Lady Capulet, the ho. Needless to say, everyone else in the group burst out laughing. When we eventually performed the scene in front of the class, I had to just omit the infamous line altogether, lest we all lose it during the performance.

Unsurprisingly, my English teacher was, at the end, still quite perplexed as just how to the opening scene of Romeo and Julliet could be so hilarious.

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