My 10 Favorite Shakespearean Insults

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I have posted many artful insults from Shakespeare on this site (here and here, for example), so readers of this blog will know the Shakespearean insult is an art form I appreciate. So I thought I’d take a few moments to list my favorites in the genre, in no particular order:

  1. “I do desire we may be better strangers” (As You Like It Act 3, Scene 2).
  2. “You starvelling, you elf-skin, you dried neat’s-tongue, bull’s-pizzle, you stock-fish!” (1 Henry IV Act 2, Scene 4).
  3. “You scullion! You rampallian! You fustilarian! I’ll tickle your catastrophe!” (2 Henry IV Act 2, Scene 1).
  4. “His wit’s as thick as a Tewkesbury mustard” (2 Henry IV Act 2, Scene 4).
  5. “Thine face is not worth sunburning” (Henry V Act 5, Scene 2).
  6. “Thou whoreson zed , thou unnecessary letter!” (King Lear Act 2, Scene 2).
  7. “Thou lump of foul deformity” (Richard III Act 1, Scene 2).
  8. “More of your conversation would infect my brain” (The Comedy of Errors Act 2, Scene 1).
  9. “You peasant swain! You whoreson malt-horse drudge!” (The Taming of the Shrew Act 4, Scene 1).
  10. “Thou sodden-witted lord! Thou hast no more brain than I have in mine elbows“ (Troilus and Cressida Act 2, Scene 1).

What do you think? Do you have any favorites not listed here (there are so many to choose from, after all)?

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More Fair

In this week’s episode (here) of The Bard and the Bible Podcast pairs Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 (“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”) with Isaiah 35:1-10 in the King James Version of the Bible.

bard-and-bible-podcastRatings and reviews on iTunes are much appreciated. You can also easily subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to ensure that you never miss an episode.

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Brush Up Your Shakespeare

Lee Wilkof and Michael Mulheren, recreating their delightful performance from the 1999 Broadway revival of Cole Porter’s Kiss Me Kate (an adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew).

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A Piece of Work

In this week’s episode (here) of The Bard and the Bible Podcast we pair Hamlet’s famous soliloquy (one of many) in Shakespeare’s Hamlet (“What a piece of work is man”) with Psalm 8:4-9 in the King James Version of the Bible.

bard-and-bible-podcastRatings and reviews on iTunes are much appreciated. You can also easily subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to ensure that you never miss an episode.

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Othello @CincyShakes

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Last Saturday I was accompanied by the lovely Robin to Cincinnati Shakespeare Company‘s commodious theater for a performance of Shakespeare’s Othello.

I always find Othello a tough play to watch, for obvious reasons, perhaps. This production was nonetheless worthwhile, with strong performances by Nick Rose as Iago and guest actor William Oliver Watkins in the title role.

I was a little distracted by the southern accent of Rose’s Iago and the British accent of Miranda McGee’s Emilia, but otherwise found the performance to be thoroughly engaging, well staged, and well played.

Othello runs through March 24 at the Otto M. Budig Theater in Cincinnati.

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High Fantastical

This week’s episode (here) of The Bard and the Bible Podcast does something we haven’t done before. We pair the same Shakespeare passage we featured last week–Orsino’s famous monologue in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night–but pair it with a different portion of the King James Version of the Bible: 1 John 4:7-12.

bard-and-bible-podcastRatings and reviews on iTunes are much appreciated. You can also easily subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to ensure that you never miss an episode.

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Reviewsday: Fools and Mortals

I love historical fiction in general, but I absolutely love novels about Shakespeare, Elizabethan/Jacobean England, and more. So I was excited to read Bernard Cornwell’s January 2018 release, Fools and Mortals

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