30 April, 2010

Shakespeare Penis Jokes

True; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels,
are ever thrust to the wall: therefore I will push
Montague's men from the wall, and thrust his maids
to the wall.
The quarrel is between our masters and us their men.
'Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant: when I
have fought with the men, I will be cruel with the
maids, and cut off their heads.
The heads of the maids?
Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads;
take it in what sense thou wilt.
They must take it in sense that feel it.
Me they shall feel while I am able to stand: and
'tis known I am a pretty piece of flesh.
'Tis well thou art not fish; if thou hadst, thou
hadst been poor John. Draw thy tool! here comes
two of the house of the Montagues.
SAMPSON My naked weapon is out: quarrel, I will back thee.
If you know anything about Shakespeare, you should know that he was a dirty, dirty man.  All of his plays are flooded with filthy jokes and word play just like in the opening scene of Romeo and Juliet that I've posted above.  Every year, when I read this play, I have a few students who get the word play in this scene.  The look on their face is just priceless and it's always the same:
  • Look of shock/horror/surprise/"should I be reading this?/am I reading this right?" at the text
  • Look at me with the same look as above
  • Look at the text again
  • Look back at me
  • I look back, smile and nod
After this happens, the rest of the class has noticed the exchange and wants to know what is going on.  I will usually ask the one or two students who get it why they are so shocked.  Student(s):"Are they talking about raping women and taking out their penises?"   Me: "Yes.  Yes they are."

I freaking love Shakespeare.


Avie said...

It's brilliant, isn't it? I love reading Chaucer with my kids for the same reason. They can't believe adults have the capacity for such crudeness - particularly writers that the curriculum requires them to read. Fantastic!

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