Shakespeare Dictionary - I

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Generate random Shakespearean insults

Shakespeare's word

Meaning (in the sample usage)



Sample usage


graft with new feathers, as a wing; to splice a broken feather. hence, fig.: repair; to extend; increase; strengthen


Rich II

Imp out our drooping country's broken wing


dishonor; discredit; call in question



You do impeach your modesty too much


put in posession of; accept, believe, entertain


Rich II

It must be great that can inherit us


pause, delay


Lear 2.4

Deliver'd letters, spite of intermission

Olivier as LearWhen I was in college, struggling through my Signet volume of Shakespeare, I didn't have the time, money, or inclination to buy audio tapes of the plays. I've done so recently, and what a difference.

In part, because Shakespeare was meant to be heard (and seen), and in part, because the English language has changed, listening to King Lear, or any of the plays, while reading the text, adds a whole new dimension.

The humor becomes clearer; anger is better conveyed; the reader/listener at once can absorb so much more of the play. For King Lear this version with Sir Laurence Olivier, is excellent.

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