Shakespeare's Seductive Syntax: "Uncovering the Bard's Bawdiest Bits"

By: Dalia LaFontaine

Shakespeare's work is renowned for its captivating stories, rich language, and poetic beauty. But did you know that the Bard also loved a good dirty joke? In fact, many of his plays and sonnets contain hidden saucy wordplay that would have had his audiences in stitches. So, let's dive into some of Shakespeare's bawdiest bits.

Double Entendres Galore

Shakespeare was a master of the double entendre, and his plays are filled with them. In Hamlet, for example, there's a scene where Hamlet asks Ophelia if he can lie in her lap, to which she replies no. Hamlet then quips, "Did you think I meant country matters?" Here, he's making a joke based on the euphemism for the female anatomy, pretending that he was offering to go down on her. Meanwhile, Ophelia is completely oblivious to the innuendo.

In Much Ado About Nothing, Benedick tells Beatrice, "I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried in thy eyes." Here, "die" is a euphemism for orgasm, and "lap" is a euphemism for female genitalia. Shakespeare was a fan of these kinds of wordplay, and it's no wonder his plays were such a hit with Elizabethan audiences.

Euphemisms Aplenty

Shakespeare was also fond of using euphemisms to refer to sexual acts and body parts. In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet's famous last words are, "O happy dagger! This is thy sheath; there rust and let me die." Some scholars believe that "sheath" is a euphemism for the female anatomy, which would certainly add an extra layer of meaning to the scene.

Meanwhile, in The Taming Of The Shrew, Petruchio compares Katherine to a wasp and makes a reference to "my tongue in your tail." "Tail" was a euphemism for female genitalia, and the banter between Petruchio and Katherine is one of the most beloved parts of the play.

Saucy Sonnets

Even Shakespeare's sonnets weren't immune to his love of bawdy humor. Sonnet 151, for example, contains lines like, "My soul doth tell my body that he may / Triumph in love: flesh stays no further reason / But rising at thy name doth point out thee / As his triumphant prize." Translation? "Hello, when I think about you, I get a very large erection."

Venus and Adonis, one of Shakespeare's longer poems, also contains its fair share of sexy language. In one scene, Venus tells Adonis to "Graze on my lips, and if those hills are dry / Stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie." There's no hidden meaning here - Venus knows what she wants, and she's not afraid to ask for it.

In Conclusion

Shakespeare's work is full of hidden sexual humor, and it's a testament to his wit and skill as a writer that these jokes are still making audiences laugh centuries later. Whether he was using euphemisms, double entendres, or just plain old-fashioned innuendo, Shakespeare knew how to make his audiences blush. So, the next time you read one of his plays or sonnets, keep an eye out for the bawdy bits - you might be surprised at what you find.

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