Radical Shakespeare: Why do we get him so wrong?

By Pauline Kiernan

A timely study which restores the revolutionary message of Shakespeare's art.

Wednesday, 7 June 2023

What lies beneath Shakespeare's frequent use of the pun 'WIT'?

Someone asked how wit=cunt:
The word ‘wit’ is spoken more often in Love’s Labours Lost than in any other Shakespearean work, and almost always carries with it the punning meaning of ‘cunt’, ‘vagina’ or ‘genitals’. This sexual connotation has multiple sources, including the word ‘white’ in the sense of a target in archery, and the phrase ‘no whit’ meaning ‘not at all’, in which the word ‘all’ was pronounced as ‘hole’
This plethora of punning and wordplay reflects a central theme of the play, namely that sexual language is used as a substitute for sexual action. It’s like displacement therapy: the characters are always talking about sex but never do anything about it. The whole dramatic drive of the play is an exquisitely choreographed act of erotic foreplay with the actual sex act deferred.

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