We interrupt our usually scheduled entry on Hamlet for this breaking news:
Shakespeare has some bawdy stuff in it… and more than we realized just a few months ago.
Live Science ran a piece yesterday on how researchers have found another piece of bawdy embedded in Love’s Labor’s Lost.
Turns out that a single word “Concolinel” (what the character Moth says/sings in response to Armado’s request for his servant to “warble”) is not some fragment of a lost Shakespearean lyric, but rather a reference to “Quand Colinet” a bawdy French song of the day, one about a certain part of the male anatomy being “too soft and too small.” And this would be perfect for the Fool-ish Moth to sing to the foolish Armado.
And given Love’s Labor’s Lost already has one of the “greasiest” bawdy sections in all of Shakespeare, finding a dirty French ditty in it does not surprise me in the least.
If you’re wondering why I reference Live Science but do not link to it, well… Live Science got their info (but did not, from what I could tell, actually CITE it) from an article in the latest issue of Shakespeare Quarterly, entitled “‘Concolinel’: Moth’s Lost Song Recovered?” by Ross W. Duffin.
Tomorrow, back to Hamlet…