You just got served, by Shakespeare…

Remember when taking off your glove and slapping a guy in the face with it was the worst insult you could dish out?  After the glove slap you either had to sword fight the guy to defend your honor or poison his horse and make a speedy getaway. The bottom line is it always ended dirty.

I have compiled some of the best Shakespearean insults I could find and have taken the liberty of translating them into modern speak.  Why Shakespeare you may ask?  Who was a better wordsmith than old Billy Shake in the 16th century?  I bite my thumb at anyone who dares prove me wrong.

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Hession/Showtime

You look fat in that dress.... Photo taken by Jonathan Hession/Showtime

You look fat in that dress....

1. What was said:

A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. – Macbeth, 5. 5

What it means:

“Wow Tonya, awesome story. Please, by all means, regale us again with that titillating tale of the time you were in the mood for Chinese food and ended up getting pizza instead.  Does the “Academy of Excellent Story Telling” know about you? No?  You should write them a letter. Seriously, you should.”

2. What was said:

A fool, an empty purse, there was no money in’t: not Hercules, could have knock’d out his brains, for he had none. –Cymbeline, 4.2

What it means:

“You are poor. Also, you are dumb. So dumb I should try to beat your brains out with this baseball bat I named Hercules, but SIKE you have no brains.”

3. What was said:

I hate ingratitude more in a man than lying, vainness, babbling drunkenness, or any taint of vice, whose strong corruption inhabits our frail blood. – Twelfth Night, 3. 4

What it means:

Actually. This is something I overhear my neighbor say to her husband pretty much on a nightly basis…  Still seems like a pretty effective insult.  The only thing missing would be “Oh yeah, one more thing, I think you are terrible in the sack.”  Viva La Shakespeare!

4. What was said:

A man made after supper of a cheese-paring. – Henry IV Part 2, 3. 2

What it means:

“Geez Eugene do you really NOT know the difference between duck pate and chicken pate?  Were you raised in a barn?”

5. What was said:

A knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered, action-taking, whoreson, glass-gazing, super-serviceable, finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd in way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pander, and the son and heir to a mongrel bitch: one whom I will beat into clamorous whining if thou deni’st the least syllable of thy addition.
-King Lear, 2.2

What it means:

Whoa, whoa, whoa… This is the point where I would break up the fight and call the cops.

Feel free to share your own versions of Tudors style insults in the comments!

One Comment

  1. schulbuch
    Posted May 7, 2009 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    I love the T-shirts worn on the Pop Tudors videos. Are they sold any where?

One Trackback

  1. By Tudors Insults Part Deux « Pop Tudors on May 13, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    […] Insults Part Deux I had so much fun writing the You just got served by Shakespeare insults post, that we decided to ask some of the funniest ladies in court to contribute a few of […]

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