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Barbs by the Bard - A Shakespearean Insult Workshop


Posted By:  Liz Goodrich
Date Posted:  8/3/2016

Barbs by the Bard Learn and memorize some of Shakespeare's best insults for use in your everyday life with Clinton K. Clark, SOU alumni and former Oregon Shakespeare Festival member, at the Downtown Bend and Redmond Libraries. The presentations, part of the What Don’t You Know series throughout the month of August, are free and open to the public.

Tuesday, August 16 | 6:00 p.m.
Downtown Bend Library

Saturday, August 20 | 2:00 p.m.
Redmond Library

William Shakespeare remains one of the most eloquent insulters in the English language. According to Clark, Shakespeare’s barbs, often bawdy and always cutting, are mainstays in some of Shakespeare’s most popular plays. Clark says that Prince Henry, a.k.a. Price Hal or Harry of the Henry histories, is his favorite slinger of insults. “The best barbs are from Henry IV Part I and most of the insults are directed at Falstaff, by far the most insulted of Shakespeare’s characters,” says Clark. “My favorite insult is ‘Thou lily-livered boy’ from Macbeth, Act V, scene ii.” Clark is also keen on a barb from Much Ado About Nothing. “‘I would challenge thee to a battle of wits but I see that you are unarmed.’ Unfortunately the actual quote is much more long winded,” Clark says.

Clark uses “Bard Barbs” often, but only where Shakespeare fans would appreciate the humor, or the dig. “Subtly,” says Clark “is what makes the barbs work.” He says the workshop is not only for Shakespeare aficionados, but for anyone who enjoys a witty insult, a cleaver turn of a phrase or relishing the English language.

Clark is the artistic director of local production company Dionysus Presents and founder of Bend's Guerilla Shakespeare Company. With with more than a dozen Shakespearean plays under his belt Clark is comfortable with the language and syntax used by William Shakespeare.

For more information about these or other library programs, please visit the library website at www.deschuteslibrary.org. People with disabilities needing accommodations (alternative formats, seating or auxiliary aides) should contact Liz at (541)312-1032.

Page Last Modified Thursday, July 30, 2020


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