Saturday, July 19, 2014

Writing Lessons from Shakespeare: Insults

Hi folks. I'm continuing my series of writing lessons from Shakespeare. He was the master of the put down. I think you would agree his ability  to cast the insults is unparalleled. The Bard's work continues to breathe and live because of the richness and density of language. We live in an age where cursing is ubiquitous. Originality in the insult is at an all time low. I think taking a few minutes and really absorbing the Bard's insulting craft will help you with your craft. Do you best when casting out your put downs.

Here's an insult I like from All's Well that Ends Well: "A most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise breaker, the owner of no one good quality." Coward, liar, promise breaker, and low born. How do these ideas transfer into our society today?  Who is the coward of today? The liar? The promise breaker? Who is low born? Also note that you have to pile on the insults for effect and you have to modify the insult with adjectives. Simple but, oh, so powerful.

I think peeking at Shakespeare's insults may help you sharpen your insulting skills. Here is a link to the Shakespearean Insulter for fun. This will toss an insult at you randomly.  Here is a Shakespeare insulter kit, basically three lists to build your own insults. Enjoy. I will be back next week!

Here is a doodle.  Sunflower.

Here is a quote for your pocket:
You scullion! You rampallian! You fustilarian! I’ll tickle your catastrophe!

PLUMB CRAZY will be out as paperback soon. I ask you to support my work -- buy a copy, share the news, request the book at your library, ask me to blog for you. I'm open. Thank you.

Watch here! I will have a giveaway beginning on July 28th. The entry period will be until August 28th.  Fun times ahead.

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Vijaya said...

I'm loving this series on Shakespeare ... for a while I had taped a page of insults on my office door. And the kids were having a blast calling each other half wit maggot pie or some such. It sounds like he loved to play with language.

MollyMom103 said...

Hi Vijaya, I get this idea he had way more words than me. Glad you like the series.