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A bard’s-eye view

art and culture Updated: Jul 07, 2012 01:41 IST
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If Shakespeare’s original plays are too much of a mouthful for you, fear not. You can experience the Bard in smaller morsels online, with these websites that offer a feel of the playwright’s graphic prose, but use it to laugh out loud at the modern world. Add a ‘thou’ here and a ‘thee’ there and you’ll see that Shakespeare speak is just as riotously enjoyable today as it was 400 years ago.


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There are times when a catchy song just won’t get out of your head, and you find yourself helplessly humming it all day, driving yourself insane. Shakespeare Lyrics offers a quirky remedy, taking phrases from popular songs and rewriting them, Shakespeare-style.

So the next time a song is stuck in your head, look up its Shakespearean ‘translation’. And instead of having Rebecca Black’s whiny voice going ‘It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down

on Friday’ in your head, you might find yourself humming, ‘Friday, Friday, thou art required to lower thyself on Friday’. And what becomes of the classic “If you’re happy and you know it…”? Well, it now goes: “If thou art jubilant and aware of the fact, bring thine hands together swiftly and repeatedly…”



Invectives that ridicule parts of the human anatomy are passé. Hitting below the belt is for the common folk. If you have to hurl abuse, why not at least stand out as well-read?

The Shakespearean Insulter website, created by American scientist Chris Siedel, throws at the reader a barrage of taunts and insults taken from the works of the Bard and compiled from a helpful online pool of Shakespearean taunts, called the Shakespeare Insult Kit.

A few samples: ‘Thou art unfit for any place but hell’; ‘Thou hath not so much brain as ear wax’ and that classic, “My lord, I’ll take my leave of you now.’ ‘You cannot, sir, take from me anything that I will more willingly part withal’.’

So if you need to let off some steam, get thee to this website!