Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Shakespeare Can Be So Cruel Sometimes

Nick Gabriel, Kathleen Early, Dana Green and
Tobie Windham in A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Photo by Henry DiRocco/SCR.
During a fight, anyone can throw out overused insults like “jerk,” “ugly” and “stupid.” Why not add a little intellect to your dispute with Shakespeare’s wit and humor? Aside from sounding smart, you might even diffuse the confrontation. Here are some of our favorites from A Midsummer Night’s Dream:

“You juggler! You canker-blossom! You thief of love!”
  • Juggler: A person who is having relations with more than one person.
  • Canker-Blossom: In this context it is a reference to the canker-type blight on a plant that steals away the beauty of the blossom.
  • Thief of Love: Exactly as it sounds—someone who has stolen the heart of another person’s significant other.

“How low am I, thou painted maypole?”

  • Painted Maypole: A tall woman who wears a lot of make-up to cover up their unattractive looks.

“You minimus, of hindering knot-grass made; You bead, you acorn.”

  • All of the above can refer to someone who is short or small.

“I am sick when I do look on thee.”

  • Erm…this one is self-explanatory.

Hear these and other Shakespearean insults for yourself during the final performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, closing Feb. 20.

Find show info and tickets here.

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