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The Food of Shakespeare

All of Shakespeare’s plays all revolve around love, drama, tragedy etc. People all over the world have read his play but little do they know that there’s one occurring topic that revolves around in his plays: Food. Here are some of his play that have bits and pieces of “food’ and “drinks” scattered throughout his plays:

1. Twelfth Night: Act 2, Scene 3

Do you think because you are virtuous, that there shall be no more cakes and ale?

2. Othello: Act 2, Scene 3

Good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well used.

3. Henry V: Act 1, Scene 3

I would give all my fame for a pot of ale.

4. As You Like It: Act 3, Scene 2

Truly, thou art damned like an ill roasted egg, all on one saide.

5. The Merry Wives Of Windsor: Act 1, Scene 1

Why, sir, for my part I say the gentleman had drunk himself out of his five senses.

6. Antony and Cleopatra: Act 2, Scene 1

Eight wild boars roasted whole at breakfast, but twelve persons there.

7. Romeo and Juliet: Act 4, Scene 2

Tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers.

8. Twelfth Night: Act 1, Scene 3

I ama great eater of beefd and I believe that does harm to my wit.

9. Henry IV Part 1: Act 2, Scene 1

He hath eaten me out of house and home; he hath put all my substance into that fat belly of his.

10. Macbeth: Act 2, Scene 3

Drink sir, is a great provoker of three things….nose painting, sleep and urine. Lechery, sir, it provokes, and unprovokes; it provokes the desire but takes away the performance.

11. Henry IV Part I: Act 3, Scene 1

O, he is as tedious as a tired horse, a railing wife; worse than a smokey house: I had rather live with cheese and garlic in a windmil, far, than than feed on cates and have him talk to me in any summer-house in Christendom.

12. The Comedy Of Errors: Act 5, Scene 1

Unquiet meals make ill digestions.

13. Richard III: Act 3, Scene 4

My lord of Ely, when I was last in Holborn I saw good strawberries in your garden there; I do beseech you send for some of them.

14. A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Act 4, Scene 2

And, most dear actors, eat no onions or garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath; and I do not doubt but to hear them say, it is a sweet comedy. No more words: Away! Go, away!

15. Henry IV Part II: Act 5, Scene 1

A’ shall answer it. Some pigeons, Davy, a couple of short-legged hens, a joint of mutton, and any pretty little tiny kickshaws, tell William cook.

16. All’s Well That Ends Well: Act 5, Scene 3

Mine eyes smell onions; I shall weep anon.

17. Romeo and Juliet: Act 4, Scene 4

They call for dates and quinces in the pastry.

18. Henry IV Part II: Act 2, Scene 4

A man cannot make him laugh – but that’s no marvel; he drinks no wine.

19. As You Like It: Act 3, Scene 5

I pray you, do not fall in love with me, For I am falser than vows made in wine.

20. Othello: Act 2, Scene 3

O thou invisible spirit of wine! If thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee devil!

I get the feeling that Shakespeare was hungry while he was writing his plays.



Categories: Multimedia Essays
  1. ivanamabunay
    October 6, 2012 at 11:16 am

    It’s interesting to view food in a different way, other than something to be consumed. In most of the lines, food was used to explain and describe more complex things that at first glance, is not really related to food. Who ever knew food can be something metaphorical? I think that the brilliance of Shakespeare is apparent in these lines.

  2. October 8, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    This is an interesting read. First, because it talks about food and who doesn’t like food? And second because food and literature aren’t usually addressed together. Good job!

  3. October 10, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    It amazes me how, in the midst all of the other dominant themes and elements that are present in Shakespeare’s works, you managed to highlight food. I will fail to look at Shakespeare’s work the same way again, thanks to you.

  4. October 11, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Nice read! Well they say food is the universal language. I guess we could say that with Shakespeare using food in his work – he has able to transcend the education/literature barrier and go straight and appeal to the stomach of the reader 🙂

  5. tomgoodstudent
    October 12, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    This post is making me hungry for some Shakespeare! LOL I wonder what the props for the food looked like back in Shakespeare’s time? Do you think they used real food for realism?

  6. October 13, 2012 at 7:06 am

    Cool read! Shakespeare definitely loved food. It’s quite amazing how one’s loves and interests find its way to his/her writing even though he/she is writing about something else completely. I suppose these things just inevitably surface up with all kinds of artists!

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