The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1781 Thursday, 15 August 2002
Date: Tuesday, 13 Aug 2002 13:40:59 EDT
Subject: Her C's...
In the Merry Wives of Windsor, there is an enormous amount of off color
Mistress Quickly calls someone "fartuous," instead of virtuous, and the
dueling scene is replete with references to testicles. In the Latin
scene, there are frequent references to "whores," in the declension of
nouns. Dr. Caius calls himself a "turd." Falstaff insinuates that he
will dirty himself, while in the basket with dirty laundry. There is
punning about erections.
The whole play deals with cuckoldry.
I believe this was first to be played before Queen Elizabeth, so if this
was not seen as amusing, it could never have been written.
I believe Shakespeare knew exactly what he was doing with the C's and
great P's. Plain old bawdy humor. We should take it as such and enjoy
it. Why not?
Michael B. Luskin
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