365 Days of Shakespeare

That's right – the Bard in a year.

11. Exit, pursued by a bear (and other funny moments)

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Because I’m lazy (and because it’s mid-terms), I am going to make this week a week of lists. Today, enjoy a list of five of the funniest, sometimes unintentionally so, moments in Shakespeare’s canon.

1. Exit, pursued by a bear – have you ever heard a greater stage direction? From The Winter’s Tale, this direction tells the audience of the face of Antigonus. I’m sure that if you were actually being pursued by a bear, it wouldn’t be funny at all, but in the text? Hilarious.

2. “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” – From Henry VI, Part 2, this line is one of the more frequently-quoted of Shakespeare’s words. It is undeniably funny, though I’m not sure it was meant to end up on so many t-shirts back when Will penned it.

3. “Do you not know I am a woman? when I think, I must speak.” – In case we needed another reason to love Rosalind from As You Like It, she came up with this little gem that left audiences giggling for a long time after it was uttered!

4. “Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage.” – From Twelfth Night, it’s admittedly a little harsh out of context, but boy is it funny when one of Shakespeare’s most beloved Clowns says it.

5. “Et tu, Brute?” – Okay, so maybe it’s not really all that funny. At least not during the play. It’s actually horrible – the title character in Julius Caesar has just been murdered and his close friend was in on it. But as much as we quote it these days and use it in reference to, well, anything possible…it has turned funny.

Sorry. I know this entry was kind of lame. I promise the ones next week will be better…just bear with me through the fatigue and mid-terms and it will soon all be righted.

Do you not know I am a woman? when I think, I must

Written by Caroline Mincks

October 12, 2009 at 3:42 PM

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