Shakespearean insults

I was looking through my list of my favourite Shakespearean insults and I thought I’d list some of them. What are your favourites? Suggestions of further hilarious Shakespearean insults are most welcome.

All’s Well That Ends Well
Methink’st thou art a general offence and every man should beat thee.

Henry IV Part 1
You starvelling, you eel-skin, you dried neat’s-tongue, you bull’s-pizzle, you stock-fish–O for breath to utter what is like thee!-you tailor’s-yard, you sheath, you bow-case, you vile standing tuck!

Henry V
There’s no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune.

Thou are pigeon-liver’d and lack gall.

Henry V
Thine face is not worth sunburning.

The Merchant of Venice
A villain with a smiling cheek, a goodly apple rotten at the heart.

He that depends upon your favours swims with fins of lead, and hews down oaks with rushes.

The Winter’s Tale
Here comes those I have done good to against my will.

Henry VI Part 2
His breath stinks with eating toasted cheese.

Henry VI Part 1
O, were mine eye bans into bullets turned, that in a rage I might shoot them at your faces.

The tartness of his face sours ripe grapes, when he walks he moves like an engine and the ground shrinks before his treading.

The Merchant of Venice
There are a sort of men whose visages do cream and mantle like a tanding pond.

Henry IV Part 1
There is no more valour in that Poins than in a wild duck.

King Lear
Thou art a boil, a plague sore, an embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood.

Love’s Labour Lost
Thou halfpenny purse of wit, thou pigeon egg of discretion.

The Tempest
What strange fish hath made his meal on thee.

Twelfth Night
You are now sailed into the north of my ladies opinion, where you will hang like an icicle on a Dutchman’s beard.

The Merry Wives of Windsor
You Banbury cheese.

Your beards deserve not so honourable a grave as to stuff a botcher’s cushion or to be entombed in as ass’s pack saddle.


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