Shakespeare, who died 400 years ago this week, was renowned for many fine deeds, from penning some of the most romantic love stories and poems in the English language to conjuring up brutal battles, bloodthirsty rages and loathsome murder plots, all for your entertainment.
But if there’s one thing we admire him for more than anything else, it’s how he elevated one art form above all others – that of the great English insult.
Whether it’s Prospero calling Caliban a “freckled whelp, hag-born” in The Tempest, Benedict describing Beatrice as a “rare parrot teacher,” in Much Ado About Nothing, or Doll Tearsheet scorning her “scurvy companion” in Henry IV, Part II, the Bard was master of the soul-shredding slapdown and the shame-faced slight.
We at CNN thought it best to give you, gentle users, but a taste of how Wild Bill vented his inspired spleen on his fellow man with our Shakespearean Insult-O-Meter.
Simply decide just how harrowing you want your insult to be (“Jesting Monkey” to begin with, “Curst Shrew” if you’re having a bad day), choose the gender of your unsuspecting victim and hit the “Generate” button. An invective will then materialize which you can share with the innocent dupe.
Important: CNN accepts no liability for spats, duels or wars between nations resulting from the unwise use of this contraption.
And to aid those witlings who skipped Shakespeare during ninth-grade (“Your brain is as dry as the remainder biscuit after voyage,” by the way) we’ve included a “Meaning” button to render Shakespeare’s barbs into modern English.
CNN’s Sarah-Grace Mankarious, Nick Hunt and Richard Greene contributed to this article.