From Publishers Weekly
It's a universal truth: sex sells. Giving the audience what they wanted in the 16th century, however, meant veiling it with puns, bon mots, slang and other tricks; fortunately, Shakespeare scholar Kiernan (Shakespeare's Theory of Drama) has taken the mystery out of the Bard's deceptively graphic passages in these frank translations from some of his most popular plays. Because most students read whitewashed versions (or because most high school instructors don't want to go there), even fans may be unaware of the degree to which, for instance, Iago (Shakespeare's "filthiest-minded character") employs sexually loaded language to rouse Roderigo's murderous lust in Act 5 of Othello: "Quick, quick, fear nothing... and fix most firm thy resolution" seems innocuous enough until Kiernan reveals that "nothing" means "vagina" and "resolution" means "balls." These blush-inducing transcripts render Shakespeare's work instantly contemporaneous; as it turns out, just the title of Much Ado About Nothing is easily as vulgar as anything uttered by gross-out moviemakers the Ferrelly brothers. Divided into chapters on lesbianiasm, homosexuality, virginity, sexual diseases, impotency, whores, pimps, brothels and other topics that shall here remain nameless, this jaw-dropping, giggle-inducing text proves both the Bard's enduring relevance and the fact that today's popular entertainment isn't nearly as debased as some might think.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'... you will find Filthy Shakespeare great fun.' Times Literary Supplement 'Back when you were studying the Bard at school, who knew the hidden sexual innuendos within his works! This new book has unearthed loads of them.' Company Magazine 'There's a lot of talk about culture getting coarser nowadays, but those Elizabethans - they really knew how to talk dirty. Apparently every single one of Iago's 1,070 lines in Othello contains a sexual pun. Pauline Kiernan ... obligingly translates the smuttiest scenes so that we can appreciate the full extent of the smirkathon. It's fascinating ...' The Guardian 'Filthy Shakespeare: Shakespeare's Most Outrageous Sexual Puns' piles ingenuity on scholarship to make the bard bawdier.' Daily Telegraph 'A thoroughly respectable academic slums it with this gloss on bum jokes, not to mention all sorts of other sexual practices and body parts. Once you get past the giggles, a convincing introduction makes a good case for the centrality of bawdy wordplay throughout the culture of the time, showing how the raw realities of Elizabethan and Jacobean London made audiences immediately able to decipher the double entendres and puns of the plays.' Scotland on Sunday (Review) 5th November 2006 `A work of scholarship dressed up, with brilliant design, as titillation' The Spectator "Glorious ... a beautifully presented guide to Elizabethan filth" Stephen Bayley, Observer Book of the Year
--This text refers to the