Shakespeare – The Smutty Translations

When I was at school, a long long time ago, an all boys’ school, we had a lot of fun in English by nudging each other and giggling behind our books whenever a word or phrase appeared that suggested anything sexual at all.

 

Things like ‘He tossed and turned all night’ and ‘the soldiers were shooting all over the place’ caused a lot of hilarity. When I was fourteen we had a brilliant English teacher, Mr Pearson, who introduced us to the idea that Shakespeare was decidedly smutty: within his language was a wealth of double entendres. Something that has always stayed with me is one of Hamlet’s observations on life: ‘There is a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will.’ Mr Pearson joined in our nudge-nudge game by suggesting that he was referring to circumcision.

 

This piece on “What Shakespeare really met” carries on that tradition with some super-smutty Shakespeare translations including masturbation, lap dancers and sister-loving!

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