Dear reader. I think so much. It gets uncomfortable in my head with all those thoughts taking up so much space. I put my thoughts in poems so my brain doesn’t get squished by the weight of childhood memories consisting of me holding a stick in various locations and reruns of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Poems are like little glass jars filled with pickled organs. And the organs are so pickled, they’re almost translucent. As Bryce Shivers and Lisa Eversman of Portlandia fame once said, “We can pickle that.” That’s just beautiful. I made a custom embroidered pillow on the internet which says “We can pickle that.” I didn’t buy it though. One day, the whole world will be pickled. You can just dump stuff in a poem and then forget all about it. And then get famous while people theorize about your sexuality.
It’s less than a week to Thanksgiving break, so let’s be real: no one feels like doing their reading. I know I love a healthy dose of Foucault or Chaucer as well as the next Kenyon student, but at this point in the semester all I can think about is how much pie I’ll be shoving into my face in eight days. But have no fear! The Thrill has got your back with handily illustrated summaries of oft-read books at Kenyon.
Today’s selection? Everyone’s favorite grouchy Dane (person not dog): Hamlet by William Shakespeare. This is an exhaustive summary which fully captures the full emotional scope of the play. Every nuance, every textual subtlety has been carefully noted below. For realz.
The 2012-2013 academic year has seen a proliferation of babies on campus. First, Alicia Dugas’ triplets and the mysterious “Baby Baby” graffiti. Then, the discovery of the Mather baby. Recently, a new flock of babies has emerged. The English department has given 24 students, mostly juniors and seniors, their own Shakespeare babies.
You’ve seen these student parents walking around campus, backpacks slung over shoulders, smiles wide and proud, and arms cradling a red Norton Shakespeare book.
It’s the last week of classes and the campus has that general feeling of pent-up stress that only finals week can bring. Like any good drama major, my catharsis of choice is quoting Shakespeare.
It is well-known that Shakespeare is the master of wordplay and most people know he had a special knack for coming up with insults. Shakespearean insults are perfect — they insult the person to whom you’re speaking and make you seem smarter in the process. More importantly, they’re really fun to yell at the top of your lungs when you’re stressed. Below, I have my 10 personal favorites of Shakespeare’s many, many insults, but really they’re all good and I encourage people to leave their own favorites in the comments section.
Side note: if Shakespeare’s not your thing but you still want to scream theatrical allusions, “Stellaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa” is always a good choice.
10) IT’S A TIE!
“Clod of wayward marl”—Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing
“A fusty nut with no kernel” —Thersites in Troilus and Cressida
Some of the best Shakespearean insults are the ones that sound really cool. I’m not going to lie, I have no idea what a marl is, but there’s something about how “clod of wayward marl” slips off the tongue that just makes it a satisfying insult. Similarly, I have no idea what a fusty nut is, but one can assume that they normally have kernels. Thus, for Thersites to imply that Achilles is a fusty nut with no kernel, well, that’s clearly hurtful. I must say that the fusty nut insult might have placed higher if not for the fact that it comes from Troilus and Cressida, a play best known for being slightly more famous than King John and slightly less famous than the play within a play in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Read more Shakespearean musings after the jump. Continue reading