. . to gain the language/it is needful that the most
immodest word/be look'd upon and learn'd . . . " -
Shakespeare, Henry IV Part II
Know Shakespeare: Seven Sexy Scenes
We have moved Bruce Deitrick Price
from the Education to the Language section in order to entertain you with
the pleasure of his article on the nature of Shakespeare's
bawdy misdirection. Bruce suggests this is less understood by
today's audiences than it was by the 16th and 17th century
audiences for whom it was conceived.
Elizabethan England was a raunchier
time, says Bruce. It has been claimed that the great
dramatist's works include more than 1100 puns on sex and
genitalia which have been a problem for prudes and teachers
ever since they were written. But his audience of the
time needed no explanation. They got it.
According to Bruce Deitrick Price, a lot of Shakespeare is
like a high class version of "Who's on First?"
And for those of our readers who may
not understand the significance of that comment, it is a
reference to a film and radio sketch of the 1940s, by the American
comedy double act of Abbot and Costello, about a baseball
game. This can be found on You Tube for those
interested - at