Shakespeare Dictionary - W

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Generate random Shakespearean insults

Shakespeare's word

Meaning (in the sample usage)



Sample usage



'Charles' wain' is the Big Dipper


1 HIV 2.1

Charles' wain is over the new chimney




Rich III 1.1

want love's majesty


stood watches, stayed awake; closely observed


Lear 2.2;

Oth 3.3

my lord shall never rest; / I'll watch him tame

web and pin

cataract of the eye


Lear 3.4

he gives the web and the pin, squints the eye




Shrew Ind.

Thy hounds shall make the welkin answer them


symbol of rejected love


TN 1.5

Make me a willow cabin at your gate

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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