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. >>


  1. tom goad

    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

    bread and circuses

  3. Ali

    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

    “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.

  6. anaya tikekar

    this is very valueable thing shared, I just wanna thanks for letting us know about this wanderfull information

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