Thursday, October 04, 2007

Bawdy Shakespeare

JOSEPH B. FRAZIER, a Writer for the Associated Press, reviews Filthy Shakespeare: Shakespeare's Most Outrageous Sexual Puns for Author Pauline Kiernan points to puns and double-entendre that modern readers don't understand. She presents a number of original passages that she translates into modern English. The book is being released today.

Hamlet declares that something is rotten in the state of Denmark. "Rotten," according to Kiernan refers to venereal disease, a word that Shakespeare's audience would have understood. Various forms of the "f-word" can be found by readers in the know and the number of words for genitalia exceed 400. Kiernan describes some of Shakespeare's passages as "exuberant displays of sparkling coded sexy dialogue."

"Get thee to a nunnery" takes on a whole new meaning when one understands that "dancing school" and "nunnery" meant a brothel.

Who knew English class could be so interesting?

1 comment:

Chouquette said...

Also, think of the meaning the wall scene in Midsummer takes on when you realize that "stones" meant male genetalia... "My cherry lips have often kiss'd thy stones" Hmmmmm