Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Shakespearean insults

My good friend Deb. reports that my newfound enchantment with the octopus leaves her rather cold. In addition, the thought of my imminent move hit her hard this morning. So I have used this opportunity - taking up an idea that she suggested in January - to both warm her up and cheer her up...

Above is a portrait that is newly believed by some (though not by others) to be William Shakespeare (1564-1616). As we all know, the Bard had a way with words. When I studied his plays, I was charmed by the cleverness of his insults. Listed below are some of my favorites, retrieved from Insults.net:

Vile worm, you were overlooked even in thy birth.~The Merry Wives of Windsor

Teeth hadst thou in thy head when thou wast born to signify thou came to bite the world.~Henry VI Part 3

An index and obscure prologue to the history of lust and foul thoughts.~Othello

If you spend word for word with me, I shall make your wit bankrupt.~The Two Gentlemen of Verona

A huge translation of hypocrisy, vilely compiled, profound simplicity.~Love's Labour Lost

It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.~Macbeth

He hath out-villiain'd villainy so far that the rarity redeems him.~All's Well that Ends Well

And in his brain which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places.~As You Like It

All that is within him does condemn itself for being there.~Macbeth

Thy bones are hollow, impiety has made a feast of thee.~Measure for Measure

He that depends upon your favours swims with fins of lead, and hews down oaks with rushes.~Coriolanus

Toads, beetles, bats, light on you.~The Tempest

A monster, a very monster in apparel.~The Taming of the Shrew

Where will thou find a cavern dark enough to mask thy monstrous visage.~Julius Caesar

Not shaped for sportive tricks, nor made to court an amorous looking glass.~Richard III

You have such a February face, so full of frost, of storm and cloudiness.~Much Ado About Nothing

I do wish thou were a dog, that I might love thee somthing.~Timon of Athens

And if those tickle you, you may get a laugh by generating a Shakespearean insult on MainStrike.com, Pangloss.com, or webweaving.org.

Finally, note that Shakespeare offers a curse to anyone who disturbs his earthly remains.

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