SparkNotes Blog

The 7 Most Savage Moments in Shakespeare

Look, I get it. On the surface, Shakespeare’s works might seem difficult. Some of them are quite sad. People die. But beneath all that fancy jargon and easily preventable tragedy, it’s just one hilarious verbal smackdown after another.

Seriously, if all you know about Shakespeare is what you’ve learned in class—that he is an old, dusty wordsmith hell-bent on torturing us from beyond the grave with iambic pentameter—then boy are you missing out. These things are just full of classic zingers. There is literally a point in Troilus and Cressida where someone says, “I’ll cut out your tongue!” and someone else replies, “FINE, DO IT, I’LL STILL BE MORE ARTICULATE THAN YOU. ALSO, YOU’RE UGLY.”

And that one didn’t even make this list.