miércoles, 24 de agosto de 2016


This is part of my Shakespeare Fourth Centennial post cycle.

In Henry V, Princess Catherine of France, about to be married to the titular character, gets lessons in her future home country's language from her English chaperone Alice. It all goes well until they come to "le pied", "the foot;" and "la robe", "the gown." The corresponding English words make Her Royal Highness wince: every Francophone courtier in the audience would have spotted bilingual puns based on the similarities between "foot" and "foutre", and between "gown" and "con"...

So I said; “d'elbow”, “de nick” and “de sin”. What do you call "le pied" et "la robe"?
“De foot”, madam; and “de gown”.
“De foot” and “de coun”! O Lord in Heaven! These are words of a bad sound, corrupt, gross, and impudent, and not for ladies of honor to use. I do not wish to pronounce these words before the lords of France for all the world. Foh! “le foot” and “le coun”!

1 comentario:

  1. So this is like an Easter egg for the cultured courtiers in the audience, just like all the shout-outs or allusions and gratuitous foreign languages in Harry Potter, the Chris Riddell books, The Simpsons, The Big Bang Theory, Attack on Titan, Kill la Kill... the list of such works is endless.