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Shakespeare's Bawdy (Routledge Classics) 4th Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0415255530
ISBN-10: 0415255538
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'It reads as freshly today as it did fifty years ago, when it surprised everyone with its originality and daring, an intriguing blend of personal insight and solid detective-work. If ever a word-book deserved to be called a classic, it is this.' - David Crystal
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Product Details

  • Series: Routledge Classics
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 4 edition (June 29, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415255538
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415255530
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,027,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joost Daalder on April 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
Modern well-annotated editions of Shakespeare (like those in the New Cambridge, Oxford, or Arden series) often explain bawdy usages in Shakespeare which today's reader cannot - yet should - understand. Even so, this area is still often comparatively weak in current commentaries, and this classic provides a great deal of help to the reader who wishes to know more. For a reader who does not use annotated editions at all, the glossary is yet more useful, though such a reader will often not even begin to think about instances of bawdy which would have been readily apparent and intelligible to an Elizabethan. Much does not get explained in Partridge: in that case a curious reader will often find the relevant exposition in Gordon Williams's *A Dictionary of Sexual Language and Imagery in Shakespearean and Stuart Literature*. However, as that is an expensive and difficult-to-use book, many readers would still serve themselves well by buying Partridge's guide. - Joost Daalder, Professor of English, Flinders University, South Australia
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By A Customer on April 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
The head of our English Department in college was an expert on Shakespeare's bawdy. This was one of the books he had us read. When his classes attended a Shakespeare play, you could always spot us in the audience. We were the ones laughing at the dirty jokes!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Eric Partridge is always a fine scholar of words. His glossary of words that Will Shakespeare used, and what Will actually meant by those words, is fascinating. Understand Will better!

I do have another book about the same subject, titled "Naughty Shakespeare". The only thing that I noticed in the "Naughty..." book that Partridge didn't mention or maybe didn't know about, was that Shakespeare's street audience really understood what "Much Ado About Nothing" is *really* about. His street audience knew that men do carry "something" between their legs; but women carry "nothing" there. So there's your naughty lesson for the day about one of Will's most performed plays.

Sorry if that story is offensive to some people. But you probably wouldn't have read it if you were not intersted in Shakespeare's "Bawdy" :=))

Bob Powers
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Most of us cannot properly appreciate Shakespeare without a little help with the language. It's not so much that he uses words we don't know, although that is a problem, it's that he uses words we think we know to mean things we're not familiar with. "Shakespeare's Words" by Crystal and Crystal is a big help, but they leave out a lot of the naughty bits. Shakespeare's work is heavily salted with sexual puns and references. Don't miss the fun.

I also like "Filthy Shakespeare" by Kiernan.
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Format: Paperback
As one reviewer stated earlier, this is a classic, but it's starting to show it's age. If you are looking for the "naughty bits" in Shakespeare this is the book to start with. Earthy language is nothing new but in the "Bard's time" it was more creative if not imaginative. On the other hand, if you are expecting modern slang and modern profanity, this is NOT the book for you.
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