Filthy Shakespeare

Front Cover
Quercus, 2006 - Puns and punning in literature - 303 pages
47 Reviews

The works of William Shakespeare contain at least 400 puns on male and female genitals. Despite the richness and breathtaking scope of his sexual language, too little attention has been paid to the sheer salacious inventiveness of his indecent puns - until now. His plays and poems pulsate with puns on body parts and what they do. Filthy Shakespeare presents over 70 sizzling examples of the Bard at his raciest, arranged under different categories from Balls to Buggery, from Cunnilingus to the Clap, from Homosexual to Transvestite. Each filthy Shakespearean passage is translated into modern English and the hidden sexual meanings of the words explained in a glossary. In her fascinating and lively Introduction, Pauline Kiernan shows how Shakespeare's sexual wordplay had its roots in the social and political reality of Elizabethan and Jacobean England, where the harsh facts of life were often disguised by bawdy, brutal punning, and in the era when the English secret service was born, deciphering secret codes became a national obsession.

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Review: Filthy Shakespeare: Shakespeare's Most Outrageous Sexual Puns

User Review  - Goodreads

Yes, if you are a student of Shakespeare you should read this. Although, many of the puns may be Kiernan digging, and her explanations would need further support in any academic setting, it is overall ... Read full review

Review: Filthy Shakespeare: Shakespeare's Most Outrageous Sexual Puns

User Review  - Nicole Craswell - Goodreads

Definitely entertaining but I have to say a lot of the translations seem like they're reaching in the "filthy" aspects. Random references to sex and genitals are added in seemingly arbitrarily. It's a ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

Dr Pauline Kiernan is a distinguished Shakespeare scholar and literary critic as well as an awarded-winning playwright and screenwriter. She has held lectureships and fellowships at the Universities of Oxford and Reading and is the author of the acclaimed Shakespeare's Theory of Drama and of Staging Shakespeare at the New Globe and Screenwriting They Can't Resist. She was appointed Leverhulme Research Fellow at Shakespeare's Globe on Bankside in its first years, and gives talks on Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama in the UK, Europe and US. She's currently working on a major project about Shakespeare, an experimental biography of Keats and her first novel.

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