By the time I hit the first year of high school, as my fellows were struggling with the authorized for Ontario school's edition of Macbeth, I was trotting around with a copy of the unexpurgated version where the Porter "did bepiss" himself. My English teacher was not pleased when I asked why we had skipped an entire scene which obviously would have had them rolling in the aisles of the Globe - and sent my classmates snickering. I had to serve a "library" detention for my youthful inquisitiveness or perhaps because I was being an obnoxious little show off????
Richard Armour promised that:
Shakespeare's best-known plays are presented in a new light, the old light having blown a fuse; together with introductions, questions, appendices, and other critical apparatus intended to contribute to a clearer misunderstanding of the subject.
Some of the humour was sophomoric but as with any good satire it was based on a thorough knowledge of the plays and much of the humour depended on the reader knowing their Shakespeare.
Because of Mr Armour's little book I discovered that there was a wealth of memorable lines beyond the Tomorrow and Tomorrows, the Where For Art Thous and the Quality of Mercies. I mean where else, other than that original unexpurgated text of the Scottish play, would I have found and remembered:
Which leads me to today's Lunacy. As well as being pretty handy with blank verse and the odd rhyming couplet Shakespeare was pretty good at the snappy put-down. Every one of the words or phrases in the lists below are taken from one of "The Works of".Aroint thee witch, the rump-fed ronyon cries!
The game's a pretty simple one: Take one word from each of the three columns below and preface it with "Thou":
The combinations are almost limitless and just think how you will stop friends, foes and families in their tracks. I mean who could possibly find the appropriate retort to: Thou pribbling unchin-snouted skainmate? Damn did that man know how to write!
And if you'd like leave me a comment with your insult of choice.
16 April - 1346: Dušan the Mighty is proclaimed Emperor, with the Serbian Empire occupying much of the Balkans.