the pants of our discontent

Summer is here, at least for those of us up on this side of the equator. Summer signals a range of things. Picnics and barbecues. Trips to the beach and dips in the pool. Berry picking. Hotter temperatures. Longer days. Shorter pants.

And in some places, as Mad reminds, Shakespeare festivals.

While the bard himself may have covered his esteemed rear end with garments cut of another fashion, he no doubt would have come to love pants had he lived in our day and age. We can only imagine the great things that Shakespeare might have written had he lived in an age of pants.¹

Without further ado, and with all due respect, I offer to you a glimpse of some pants that might have been.²

Shakespeare’s Pants

  • How poor are they that have not pants!
    Iago, Othello (II, iii, 376-379)
  • We are such stuff as pants are made on
    Prospero, The Tempest Act 4, scene 1, 148–158
  • Frailty, thy name is pants!
    Hamlet, Hamlet Act 1, scene 2, 142–146
  • The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
    But in our pants, that we are underlings.

    Cassius, Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)
  • Love looks not with the eyes but with the pants.
    Helena, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (I, i, 234)
  • Out, damn’d pants! out, I say!
    Lady Macbeth, Macbeth Act 5, scene 1, 26–40
  • A plague a’ both your pants!
    Mercutio, Romeo And Juliet Act 3, scene 1, 90–92
  • A soothsayer bids you beware the pants of March.
    Brutus, Julius Caesar Act 1, scene 2, 15–19
  • Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with pants.
    Hero, Much Ado About Nothing (III, i, 106)
  • Be not afraid of pants
    Malvolio, Twelfth Night (II, v, 156-159)
  • And thus I clothe my naked villany
    With odd old pants stol’n out of holy writ

    Richard, King Richard III (I, iii, 336-338)
  • Give me my pants, put on my crown
    Cleopatra, Antony and Cleopatra (V, ii, 282-283)
  • My pants fly up, my thoughts remain below.
    King, Hamlet (III, iii, 100-103)
  • Something is rotten in the pants of Denmark.
    Marcellus, Hamlet Act 1, scene 4, 87–91
  • There are more pants in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

    Hamlet, Hamlet Act 1, scene 5, 159–167
  • Quotes, or at least the pants-less versions of them, harvested from this site.

    ¹ And had he been an utter loon.

    ² It’s been a long time since I’ve shared my pants with you. Truth is, I’ve been sitting on these pants for many months.

    22 thoughts on “the pants of our discontent

    1. I think the word ‘pants’ is also used in Europe to mean ‘that sucks’. As in “You don’t have any champagne? Pants!” Which makes me laugh.

      BTW I’ve knighted you with a creativity award. Fitting in light of this and other lists. =)

    2. Not Shakespears, but my favourite pants poem.

      What’s the use?
      by Ogden Nash

      Sure, deck your limbs in pants,
      Yours are the limbs, my sweeting.
      You look divine as you advance . . .
      Have you seen yourself retreating?

    3. And don’t forget the Sonnets!

      From #9:
      “Is it for fear to wet a widow’s pants,
      That thou consum’st thy self in single life?”

      From #29:
      “When in disgrace with fortune and men’s pants
      I all alone beweep my outcast state,”

      From #17:
      “Who will believe my verse in time to come,
      If it were fill’d with your most high pants?”

      From #22:
      “My pants shall not persuade me I am old,
      So long as youth and thou are of one date;”

      and, finally, of course … from #18:
      “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s pants?”


    4. All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely PANTS

      Moral! no, by my troth, I have no moral PANTS

      If we shadows have offended, think but this; and all is mended that you have but slumbered here while these PANTS did appear

      some PANTS, some PANTS, my kingdom for some PANTS

      (all quotes from plays I’ve done!)

      I loved this post. of course. pants and shakespeare. does it get any better? ;)

      ooh! and maybe I should change my audition monologue to say…
      Why droops my lord, like over-ripen’d PANTS,
      Hanging the head at Ceres’ plenteous load?
      Why doth the great Duke Humphrey knit his brows,
      As frowning at the favours of the world?
      Why are thine eyes fixed to the sullen earth,
      Gazing on that which seems to dim thy sight?
      What seest thou there? King Henry’s PANTS,
      Enchased with all the honours of the world?
      If so, gaze on, and grovel on thy PANTS,
      Until thy head be circled with the same.
      Put forth thy hand, reach at the glorious PANTS.
      What, is’t too short? I’ll lengthen it with mine:
      And, having both together heaved it up,
      We’ll both together lift our PANTS to heaven,
      And never more abase our sight so low
      As to vouchsafe one glance unto the ground.

    5. Put forth thy hand, reach at the glorious PANTS.

      Ha! I love that!! Your whole comment, of course, but this line is just so utterly perfect!

      Hmm … back to the sonnets …

      Not from the stars do I my PANTS pluck;
      And yet methinks I have Astronomy,
      But not to tell of good or evil PANTS,
      Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons’ quality;
      Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell,
      Pointing to each his thunder, rain and PANTS,
      Or say with princes if it shall go well
      By oft predict that I in heaven find:
      But from thine eyes my PANTS I derive,
      And, constant stars, in them I read such art
      As truth and beauty shall together thrive,
      If from thyself, to store thou wouldst convert;
      Or else of PANTS this I prognosticate:
      Thy PANTS are truth’s and beauty’s doom and date.

    6. Love looks not with the eyes but with the pants.

      This one disturbs me a bit…but I love it.

      You are brilliant…you know that, right? These are fabulous.

      And I enjoyed the ones in the comments, too!

    7. I grow old … I grow old …
      I shall wear the bottoms of my pants rolled.

      I shall wear white flannel pants, and walk upon the beach.
      I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

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