Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A little invective in the morning

[From the First Folio (1623), Brandeis University. Click for a larger, more insulting view.]

William Shakespeare, King Lear, act 2, scene 2, Kent speaking to Oswald. Kent has said, “Fellow I know thee.” Oswald, feigning innocence, asks, “What do’st thou know me for?” Dig the phrasal adjectives in Kent’s reply:

A Knaue, a Rascall, an eater of broken meates, a base, proud, shallow, beggerly, three-suited-hundred pound, filthy woosted-stocking knaue, a Lilly-liuered, action-taking, whoreson glasse-gazing super-seruiceable finicall Rogue, one Trunke-inheriting slaue, one that would’st be a Baud in way of good seruice, and art nothing but the composition of a Knaue, Begger, Coward, Pandar, and the Sonne and Heire of a Mungrill Bitch, one whom I will beate into clamours whining, if thou deny’st the least sillable of thy addition.
I think my favorite Shakespearean insult (as of 6:18 this morning) might be one that soon follows. It, too, is from Kent to Osawald: “Thou whoreson Zed, thou unnecessary letter.”

A Google search for shakespearean insult generator will turn up many chances to assemble some invective of your own. Here’s an especially nice generator.

comments: 2

Sara said...

Thou onion-eyed, rump-fed rabbit-sucker.

(from the generator)

Michael Leddy said...