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Shakespearean Quips

William Shakespeare sure had some zingers in All’s Well That Ends Well. Here are our favorite insults from the play:

William Shakespeare

  • “Wilt thou ever be a foul-mouthed and calumnious knave?” (Countess, act 1, scene 3)
  • “You are not worth another word, else I’d call you knave.” (Lafew, act 2, scene 3)
  • “A most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise breaker, the owner of no one good quality.” (Second Lord Dumaine, act 3 scene 6)
  • “Methink’st thou art a general offence and every man should beat thee.” (Lafew, act 2, scene 3)
  • “Drunkenness is his best virtue, for he will be swine-drunk, and in his sleep he does little harm, save to his bedclothes.” (Parolles, act 4, scene 3)
  • “He excels his brother for a coward, yet his brother is reputed one of the best that is. In a retreat he outruns any lackey; marry, in coming on he has the cramp.” (Parolles, act 4, scene 3)
  • “Truly, Fortune’s displeasure is but sluttish if it smell so strongly as thou speakest of. I will henceforth eat no fish of Fortune’s butt’ring. Prithee allow the wind.” (Lavatch, act 5, scene 2)
  • “If thou beest bound in thy scarf and beaten thou shall find what it is to be proud of thy bondage. I have a desire to hold my acquaintance with thee, or rather my knowledge, that I may say in the default, ‘He is a man I know’.” (Lafew, act 2, scene 3)
  • “Scurvy, old, filthy, scurvy lord.” (Parolles, act 2, scene 3)
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