THINGS IN SHAKESPEARE THAT LITERALLY MAKE NO SENSE
If you think Shakespeare is a little hard to understand you're not alone! These are passages *nobody* understands. I love that given all that's been written about Shakespeare, and his continuous popularity since he was alive, there can still be a little mystery.
- •Flim-flam the zim-zam?Romeo and Juliet Act 2, Scene 5: “Scurvy knave, I am none of his flirt-gills, I am none of his skains-mates.”: Flirt-gills are apparently loose women, but nobody knows what skains-mates are.
- •This isn’t even a sentence.Hamlet Act 1 Scene 4: “The dram of eale Doth all the noble substance of a doubt To his own scandal.” According to J. M. Nosworthy, Shakespeare apparently “gave up the struggle” while working on this speech and never finished this last line. Hence, it makes no sense.
- •Admirable? Yes. Express? I guess.Hamlet Act 2 scene 2: "In form and moving, how express and admirable” Nobody knows what exactly Shakespeare meant by “express”.
- •What does this have to do with a French prince?King Lear, Act 3, Scene 4: "Douphin, my boy, boy, cessez! Let him trot by." Nobody knows what the (admittedly crazy-acting) Edgar is referring to here.
- •What's a Turlygod?King Lear, Act 2, Scene 3: "Poor Turlygod! Poor Tom!" Nobody knows who or what Turlygod is.
- •Why would Tom O'Bedlam throw his head?King Lear, Act 3, Scene 6: "Tom will throw his head at them.—Avaunt, you curs!" Nobody knows what the expression "to throw ones head" means.
- •He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice.Hamlet, Act 1, scene 4. Is he killing Polish people who are riding a sled? Is he thumping a European-style polearm weapon on some ice? Is he cleaning some fish? NO ONE KNOWS.Suggested by @ChrisK