Stiffen Up, Bard


William Shakespeare

From time to time I've been examining the humor and the raunchiness of William Shakespeare. Face it, upon reflection, he's demonstrated numerous examples of his "toilet humor" and working "blue." I kind of get a kick out of rediscovering him at a post high school age. Today I'm going to, with help from Cracked, lay bare another boner, er, well, you judge for yourself.

Quick background: Sonnets were traditionally short 14-line odes to beautiful women. When Willie S. came along, he stayed mostly faithful to that tradition, writing numerous sonnets about his love for gorgeous females. However, he would occasionally shift the focus of the narrative over to his own, "stiffening resolve", as demonstrated in Sonnet 151:

Sonnet 151

Love is too young to know what conscience is,
Yet who knows not conscience is born of love?
Then, gentle cheater, urge not my amiss,
Lest guilty of my faults thy sweet self prove.
For, thou betraying me, I do betray
My nobler part to my gross body's treason;
My soul doth tell my body that he may
Triumph in love; flesh stays no farther reason,
But rising at thy name doth point out thee
As his triumphant prize; proud of this pride,
He is contented thy poor drudge to be,
To stand in thy affairs, fall by thy side.
No want of conscience hold it that I call
Her ‘love’ for whose dear love I rise and fall.

laced breeches

According to the bold print which I emphasized, I think its clear. Billy's Willie was going silly nilly.