The Delight of Shakespeare’s Insults
Go back just a small handful of years and you would scarcely hear foul language on the streets of Britain. Today however, we seem to have a verbal free-for-all. Hardly anyone seems able to construct a simple sentence with dropping in the “F” word. Even the “C” word (and we’re not talking Conservative here) is a common visitor to town centres throughout the land.
Now that profanity is so common and people regularly go to get the “F’ing bus or visit the “F”ing benefits office the “F” word has far less impact when you are trying to insult someone. So with that in mind it’s time to learn some more elegant ways to verbally put your opponent down. Try to pick up some tips with William Shakespeare’s insults.
“The rankest compound of villainous smell that ever offended nostril”
The Merry Wives of Windsor – Act 3, Scene 5. This one is pretty useful if you would like to have a poke at Mr Armpits or halitosis Henry, give their waft a good airing.
“Here is the babe, as loathsome as a toad”
Titus Andronicus – Act 4, Scene 3. This most picturesque of Shakespeare’s insults always makes me think of women doing pouty lipped selfies.
“I’ll beat thee, but I would infect my hands”
Timon of Athens – Act 4, Scene 3. Another one to put in the smelly person pile, make sure to put on rubber gloves before it gets physical.
“Away, you three-inch fool!”
The Taming of the Shrew – Act 3, Scene 3. One of our favourites and perfect for little men, whether they are vertically challenged or simply small-minded. Also try this one while giving a big smirk and glancing down at a man’s groin.
“Thy sin’s not accidental, but a trade”
Measure For Measure – Act 3, Scene 1. No, it wasn’t a mistake, you do this all the time you lying weasel!
“Thou damned and luxurious mountain goat”
Henry V – Act 4, Scene 4. Luxurious had a self-indulgent and immoral meaning when this was written. For some reason this one reminds us of bearded, long haired, fat men with high opinions of themselves. Perfect if you know of a talentless, preening, Brian Blessed wannabe.