The Renaissance

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This playbill, advertising a 1594 production of The Taming of the Shrew, was defaced by Will Kemp, an actor in Shakespeare's troupe. The complete quote is “Why, thou clay brained guts, thou knotty pated fool, thou whoreson obscene greasy tallow catch.” This aggression was the result of Shakespeare's lack of business acumen. The bard had naively signed his troupe of players up for a Twelfth Night performance without asking for extra holiday pay. Never one to throw out a good line, he later inserted it into Henry IV.