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Shakespeare's Bawdy (1948)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0415254000, Paperback)When Shakespeare's plays were first performed, they were popular with everyone: they weren't classics yet or a requisite course to be suffered. The stories were good entertainment for the masses, with a bawdy streak a mile wide. Certainly Shakespeare's depth and insight into human nature was appreciated, but surely some came just for the dirt. Shakespeare's contemporaries didn't need a glossary to get the jokes, but we do. Thank goodness for Eric Partridge's dictionary of Elizabethan smut, so we can get the double-entendres, too. Thus, "hardening of one's brows" (The Winter's Tale) refers to being cuckolded, "laced mutton" (Two Gentleman of Verona) is a prostitute, "riggish" (Cleopatra) means lascivious, and "groping for trout in a peculiar river" (Measure for Measure) means copulating with a woman. With an essay on the sexual, homosexual, and nonsexual bawdy in Shakespeare, an index to the essay, and a full glossary of bawdry, Partridge puts the nudge and wink back in Shakespeare.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:22 -0400)
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