Filthy Shakespeare

Author(s): Pauline Kiernan


Despite the richness of Shakespeare's sexual language (his work includes no fewer than 150 puns for female genitals, and 180 for male genitalia), scant attention has been paid to it till now. "Filthy Shakespeare" offers 100 examples of the Bard at his bawdiest, arranged under 25 sexual categories from cuckold to cunnilingus and from scrotum to semen. Each filthy passage is 'translated' into modern English and the hidden sexual meanings of the words explained in a glossary. In a lively and rumbustious Introduction, author Pauline Kiernan shows how Shakespeare's predilection for rude punning had its roots in the social and political reality of Elizabethan England, where the brutal facts of life were often described by figures of speech to distance or disguise them, and where the network of government spies meant that covert communication was, for some, a matter of life and death. "Filthy Shakespeare" is not just the quirkiest, dirtiest and funniest gift book of the year, it also offers fascinating and surprising insights into the richness and complexity of Shakespeare's world and Shakespeare's language.


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'... you will find Filthy Shakespeare great fun.' Times Literary Supplement 'Back when you were studying the Bard at school, who knew the hidden sexual innuendos within his works! This new book has unearthed loads of them.' Company Magazine 'There's a lot of talk about culture getting coarser nowadays, but those Elizabethans - they really knew how to talk dirty. Apparently every single one of Iago's 1,070 lines in Othello contains a sexual pun. Pauline Kiernan ... obligingly translates the smuttiest scenes so that we can appreciate the full extent of the smirkathon. It's fascinating ...' The Guardian 'Filthy Shakespeare: Shakespeare's Most Outrageous Sexual Puns' piles ingenuity on scholarship to make the bard bawdier.' Daily Telegraph 'A thoroughly respectable academic slums it with this gloss on bum jokes, not to mention all sorts of other sexual practices and body parts. Once you get past the giggles, a convincing introduction makes a good case for the centrality of bawdy wordplay throughout the culture of the time, showing how the raw realities of Elizabethan and Jacobean London made audiences immediately able to decipher the double entendres and puns of the plays.' Scotland on Sunday (Review) 5th November 2006 `A work of scholarship dressed up, with brilliant design, as titillation' The Spectator "Glorious ... a beautifully presented guide to Elizabethan filth" Stephen Bayley, Observer Book of the Year

Pauline Kiernan is a distinguished Shakespeare academic and screenwriter and award-winning playwright. She is the author of the much-praised Shakespeare's Theory of Drama (CUP 1996)

Acknowledgements A Note Before You Begin Introduction: Sex in Shakespeare's Time A Note on Sources Pertaining to Fucking Pertaining to Cunt Pertaining to Prick Pertaining to Erection Pertaining to Ejaculation Pertaining to Wanking Pertaining to Cunnilingus Pertaining to Fellatio Pertaining to Buggery Pertaining to Transvestite Pertaining to Lesbian Pertaining to Homosexual Pertaining to Brothels Pertaining to Male Whore Pertaining to Female Whore Pertaining to The Clap Pertaining to Dildos Pertaining to Boobs Pertaining to Balls Pertaining to Pubes Pertaining to Impotence Pertaining to Virginity Pertaining to Pimps Appendix Index

General Fields

  • : 9781905204755
  • : Quercus
  • : Quercus
  • : October 2006
  • : 198mm X 129mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Pauline Kiernan
  • : Hardback
  • : 822.33
  • : very good
  • : 308