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Shakespeare's Bawdy (1948)

af Eric Partridge

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340377,840 (3.98)3
This classic of Shakespeare scholarship begins with a masterly introductory essay analysing and exemplifying the various categories of sexual and non-sexual bawdy expressions and allusions in Shakespeare's plays and sonnets. The main body of the work consists of an alphabetical glossary of all words and phrases used in a sexual or scatological sense, with full explanations and cross-references.… (mere)
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It's somewhat redundant now, in an era where any annotated Shakespeare volume worth the price comes with a completely smuttified glossary, but there was a time - within the lifetime of some people still living - when this stuff was regularly omitted from teaching at any level. (It's the principal reason, to this day, that "Julius Caesar" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" top so many highschool curricula.)

So, top marks for Partridge for putting together a glossary that finds some remarkably obscure dirty words in Shakespeare. Love it.

The opening essay is more of a mixed bag, to be honest. One-third is great, just in justifying Shakespeare's use of smut (nowadays, as we know more about theatre production and can equate it with the 17th century, we need this less). One-third is really just a recap of the glossary, since clearly Partridge is feeling pretty defensive. The other third is... more pretentious. And unpleasant. It's Partridge's overly psychologically telling explanation of why Shakespeare was expressly heterosexual. Now, don't get me wrong, I believe Shakespeare was at most bisexual, and ultimately it doesn't matter. But Partridge - while certainly "tolerant" of the deviant homosexuals he sees everywhere around him - directly appeals to his heterosexual readers to show less bias and to appreciate that only a straight man would make so many vagina jokes while writing a play for a mainstream audience. Um, Eric? Half of my friends are homosexual writers and/or comedians, and very few of them are afraid to discuss the pudenda. At length. But, thanks for playing.

So, his contributions far outweigh his puzzling psychological tells, but this book is probably outdated nonetheless. ( )
  therebelprince | Apr 21, 2024 |
A great resource! Shakespeare wrote for the people, and they were a rowdy bunch. His plays are filled with dirty kones, obscene remarks and more - you jsut have to understand the context. That's where this remarkable book comes in. Partridge explains the references, so the modern reader can understand and enjoy the raunchy humor. ( )
  jshillingford | Jul 3, 2007 |
loaned to Kit Palmer 10.19.09
  kitgordon | Oct 19, 2009 |
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Partridge, Ericprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Wells, StanleyForordmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet

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This classic of Shakespeare scholarship begins with a masterly introductory essay analysing and exemplifying the various categories of sexual and non-sexual bawdy expressions and allusions in Shakespeare's plays and sonnets. The main body of the work consists of an alphabetical glossary of all words and phrases used in a sexual or scatological sense, with full explanations and cross-references.

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