What a week it’s been: fitting in World Book Night activities, some actual university-related work, book reviews, and enjoyment of the wonderful weather (proved, without doubt, by the attractively tomato-coloured skin I am now sporting down half of my face). One particular source of excitement brought about by this week was the birthday of the world’s greatest playwright (and stuff of nightmares for secondary school children everywhere), William Shakespeare. Shakespeare is a strangely prominent feature of my life and Hamlet remains one of the few pieces of literature that I continue to revisit at any available opportunity (particular shout-out to the greatest Hamlet of them all, and my hand twin, Kenneth Branagh). My complete devotion to all-things Shakespearean (except A Midsummer Night’s Dream – a fact that requires no explanation) is something that will undoubtedly be forced upon you throughout the summer, with the new season at The Globe beginning next month. I give you permission to begin allowing your excitement to build.
In light of these facts, and in celebration of The Bard’s birthday, I give you Just for Fun Friday: Throwing Insults Like Shakespeare. Appropriate for all occasions, I challenge you to pull at least one of these out at parties.
Thou art a boil, a plague sore, an embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood.
– King Lear
No longer from head to foot than from hip to hip, she is spherical, like a globe, I could find out countries in her.
– The Comedy of Errors
Away, you three inch fool!
-Taming of the Shrew
I’ll beat thee, but I should infect my hands.
– Timon of Athens
Thou art a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy worsted-stocking knave; a lily-liver’d, action-taking, whoreson, glass-glazing, super serviceable, finical rogue; one-trunk inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd in a way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar, and the son and heir of a mungril bitch.
– King Lear (and why you do not mess with the Earl of Kent)
You starveling, you elf skin, you dried neat’s tongue, you bull’s pizzle, you stockfish!
– Henry IV, Part One
You rampallian! You fustilarian!
– Henry IV, Part Two
And with that I leave you, to be back later this evening with a review of the wonderful Suite Francaise. In the meantime rampallians, have a wonderful Friday!