King John

Shakespeare: the funny bits

I’ll admit it, I haven’t finished King John yet, but I bet there’s nothing better in it than this:

Chatillon: In brief, a braver choice of dauntless spirits
Than now the English bottoms have waft o’er
Did nearer float upon the swelling tide,
To do offence and scath in Christendom.

I’m still following the Auden lectures. Those plays which he disliked he jammed into single lectures with other duds: halfway through reading The Taming of the Shrew, King John and Richard II in succession I needed to take a break for some Barthelme and Delany. “Bottoms” means ships and to “waft” is to sail.

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