Celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday with some of his best insults and pickup lines


William Shakespeare, long revered as the top dog of the English language, celebrates his birthday today. TED-Ed celebrates the Bard’s big day by highlighting some of his best language — from his beautiful, romantic metaphors to his pointed, scathing insults.

Beyond giving the world dozens of English language masterpieces and inventing countless words (including the word countless), Shakespeare certainly had a way with the romantic turn of phrase. In this TED-Ed Lesson, Anthony John Peters explains why Shakespeare’s coy use of metaphor was so effective — and may just help you get a date today.

Shakespeare also excelled at delivering some serious smack talk. April Gudenrath explores a few of Shakespeare’s most clever insults in this TED-Ed Lesson.

Want more on Shakespeare?
Check out this lesson on the development of English drama to see what theater was like before Shakespeare came on the scene. >>

6 Responses to “Celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday with some of his best insults and pickup lines”

  1. tom goad says:

    Shakespeare was half right. For the upper the ” World is a Stage ” for us commons it’s more like a Circus . ” Full of clowns, misfits, and some beauty “

  2. patricia says:

    bread and circuses

  3. Ali says:

    Great reply Tom. Maybe for the upper the world is full of clowns, misfits and some beauty, though. As recent research showed that high SES makes you behave less ethically … of which the reason is not sure but a factor might be that the upper SES can get away with more because of their money.

  4. ….”clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you”……

  5. Cary Outis says:

    “Hartless hind” is a more complex pun than your narrator describes. A hind is a female deer, a hart, simply a deer, is by implication its male companion. Then hartless/heartless, plus (be)hind , so an asshole without spirit.
    Thus the overall sense is, you’re alone, and you haven’t got what it takes.

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