Today I’m thinking about Shakespeare. Why? because I got to see Baltimore Shakespeare Factory’s Love’s Labour’s Lost last Friday and I’m going to see Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s Romeo and Juliet this Sunday. Two very different plays and two very different approaches. How lucky am I to live in a city that offers two ways to experience the Bard?
So instead of the regular birthday tribute (Shakespeare’s birthday is April 23rd for any one who is keeping track) I give you… Shakespearian insults. Because you never know when you might need a really tell some one that they are “a flesh-monger, a fool and a coward.” (Measure for Measure).
Here are a few from Romeo and Juliet:
… He’s a man of wax
You kiss by the book
He heareth not, he stirreth not, he moveth not, the ape is dead
She speaks yet she says nothing
He is not the flower of courtesy
You rat catcher
A dog, a cat, a mouse, a rat to scratch a man to death
A plague on both your houses
Thou detestable maw
Thou womb of death
Here are a few from LLL:
Taffeta phrases, silken terms precise,
Three-piled hyperboles, spruce affectation,
Figures pedantical; these summer flies
Have blown me full of maggot ostentation:
I do forswear them.
They have been at a great feast of languages, and stolen the scraps.
From other Plays:
A most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise breaker, the owner of no one good quality. (Alls Well That Ends Well.)
Thine face is not worth sunburning. (Henry V)
There’s no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune. (Henry V)
Thou art as loathsome as a toad. (Troilus and Cressida)
Thou art like a toad; ugly and venemous. (As You Like It)
I must tell you friendly in your ear, sell when you can, you are not for all markets.” (As You Like It.)
Thou art a flesh-monger, a fool and a coward. (Measure for Measure)
You secret, black and midnight hags (Macbeth)
Thou subtle, perjur’d, false, disloyal man! (The Two Gentleman of Verona)
“Thou art a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy worsted-stocking knave; a lily-liver’d, action-taking, whoreson, glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd in way” (King Lear)“Thou art a boil, a plague sore, an embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood.” (King Lear)
“I’ll beat thee, but I should infect my hands.” (Timon of Athens)