Shakespeare and the Art of Verbal Seduction

9780091882990: Shakespeare and the Art of Verbal Seduction

Do you long to be seductive? Have a desire to be seduced? Then “let lips do what hands do” and put into practice the most enticing baubles of seduction ever written. Shakespeare and the Art of Verbal Seduction contains the Bard’s best seducing lines to cajole, charm, and even proposition the object of your desire.

Shakespeare is the master of persuasion. He induces the hardest of hearts to give up mind, body, and soul with a brilliant flash of words. Here they’re collected for you, his little miracles of language, arranged in ten strategies for every stage of a love affair, from first encounter to the full throes of passion. Never again let your desire flounder in bad come-ons. Learn the art of seduction from the greatest seducer of all time, and get what you want.

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Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:


Everyone is a stranger, including you, and Shakespeare does something about it. He creates perfect openers.

When complicated people bump into each other, it's the delicate drama of the first impression. It's pure comedy, if not pure tragedy, fantasy, or history. Which is why it's pure felicity for Shakespeare to appear suddenly on the scene to sort things out. Chief among the playwrights he makes himself invisible by letting every sort of human character shine through him. He is sheer camouflage. Use his lines as sheer bricolage. Open these pages, and do it yourself.

When there was tension in the playhouse, Shakespeare got people's attention. "O for a muse of fire," he said, and into the play everybody went. Go and do likewise. Melt your audience of one. But assuming you can't come up with the perfect words at the perfect time, at least create the impression that you can. Learn to play with Shakespeare's wit and go for a happy accident.

Today's awful lines are offal, but Shakespeare keeps chat-up standards up. There's no point in reinventing genius. His down-to-earth message: Please, be discriminating. Revel in human strangerhood without ruining the neighborhood. Avoid the groans, say what succeeds. Use these certified good lines as needed, and when they run out, bow out. Retire offstage. If you think you need more, you honestly need to leave people alone.

All's Well That Ends Well

Are you meditating on virginity? 1.1.108

Now I see The myst'ry of your loneliness. 1.3.165-66

Fair maid, send forth thine eye. 2.3.52

[You're] a fair creature. 3.6.112

They told me that your name was Fontybell. 4.2.1

Antony and Cleopatra

Come, you'll play with me, sir? 2.5.6

How now, friend Eros? 3.5.1

Where hast thou been, my heart? 3.13.177

As You Like It

[You] are fair with [your] feeding. 1.1.11-12

What shall be our sport then? 1.2.29

How now Wit, whither wander you? 1.2.53-54

Your heart's desires be with you! 1.2.187

O excellent young man! 1.2.201

Gentleman, wear this for me. 1.2.236

In my voice most welcome shall you be. 2.4.85

If ladies be but young and fair, They have the gift to know it. 2.7.37-38

Sit you down in gentleness. 2.7.124

Be blest for your good comfort. 2.7.135

Where dwell you pretty youth? 3.2.328

Are you native of this place? 3.2.331

Your accent is something finer than you could purchase in so removed a dwelling. 3.2.333-34

[You] seem to have the quotidian of love upon [you]. 3.2.356

I profess curing [love madness] by counsel. 3.2.393

Well, the gods give us joy! 3.3.41

The sight of lovers feedeth those in love. 3.4.53

Why do you look on me? 3.5.41

[I know you] not very well, but I have met [you] oft. 3.5.106

[You are] a pretty youth-not very pretty- But sure . . . proud, and yet [your] pride becomes [you]. 3.5.113-14

I prithee, pretty youth, let me be better acquainted with thee. 4.1.1-2

My errand is to you, fair youth. 4.3.6

[You] play the swaggerer. 4.3.14

I should have been a woman. 4.3.175

I know you are a gentleman. 5.2.53

Look upon [me], love [me]. I worship you. 5.2.81

Let me have audience for a word or two. 5.4.150


[You are] the fairest that I have look'd upon. 2.4.32

Come, here's my heart. 3.4.79

By Jupiter, an angel! or, if not, An earthly paragon! Behold divineness. 3.7.15-16

For beauty, [you make] barren the swell'd boast Of him that best could speak. 5.5.162-63

For feature, [you] lame The shrine of Venus. 5.5.163-64

[You are] a shop of all the qualities that man Loves woman for. 5.5.166-67

[You are] worthy To inlay heaven with stars. 5.5.352-53


What art thou that usurp'st this time of night? 1.1.49

And now, what's the news with you? 1.2.42

O fear me not. 1.3.51

Thou com'st in such a questionable shape That I will speak to thee. 1.4.43-44

Soft, methinks I scent the morning air. 1.5.58

Hillo, ho, ho, boy. Come, bird, come. 1.5.118

Have [I] given [you] any hard words of late? 2.1.107

Buzz, buzz. 2.2.389

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