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How Shakespeare Can Teach You To Pick Up Girls

Ready for a summer fling? Shakespeare has some advice.
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When it came to being a playboy, Shakespeare was worse than Shane from the L Word.

Hard to believe, right? How can anyone be more of a womanizer than the woman who (spoiler) left her fiancee at the altar because she was afraid of commitment?

It’s summer, which means summer flings. So if you’re looking for tips on how to pick up woman, you should hit pause on the L Word and thumb through a few of his plays. Here’s what you can learn about boning from the Bard.


#1: Never group sext.

In Merry Wives of Windsor, a man named Falstaff finds himself smitten with two married women. Instead of flipping a coin – or bedding someone single – he writes a sexy love letter to each of them, hoping one of them will succumb to his charms.

Yes, a sexy love letter. One. He sends the same letter to both women.

That’s like writing a long, heartfelt text message about how in love you are with a girl, and sending it as a group message to her and her sister.

Does it work out for Falstaff? Not even close. He ends up crying alone in the woods.

The moral of the story? Be at least a little creative with your sexts.


#2: Always choose her.

You probably know Antony and Cleopatra as the most beautiful historical love story ever told. Cleopatra even kills herself with a snake because she can’t bear to be without Antony. That’s dedication.

What you might not know is that Cleopatra was technically Antony’s mistress.

Yes, our beloved Antony was already married when he started bedding Cleopatra. At one point, while Antony is visiting Cleopatra in Egypt, both Antony’s friend Caesar and his wife Fulvia demand that he come back to Rome.

Cleopatra, none too pleased, says, “Call in the messengers. As I am Egypt’s queen/Thou blushest, Antony, and that blood of thine/Is Caesar’s homager. Else so thy cheek pays shame/When shrill-tongued Fulvia scolds.”

In other words: “Go back to Rome if you’re going to be a lil bitch.”

Instead of listening to Cleopatra, Antony says: “Let Rome in Tiber melt and the wide arch/Of the ranged empire fall. Here is my space.”

In other words: “Let Rome burn down. I’m staying here.”

And Cleopatra says, “Oh, zaddy.”

The moral: Next time a girl says that you can leave if you want, assure her that you would rather to set fire to your entire hometown than leave her.


#3: Always take your chance.

Pop quiz: Where should you never hit on a girl?

  1. Her coronation
  2. A funeral
  3. A confessional

Correct answer? Trick question! According to Shakespeare, there’s never a wrong time to make a move.

Let’s take the titular character from Richard III. He hits on a woman called Lady Anne by saying the following:

Anne: And thou unfit for any place but hell.
Richard: Yes, one place else, if you will hear me name it.
Anne: Some dungeon.
Richard: Your bedchamber.

Savage. And here’s how it gets more savage:

  1. Anne is at a funeral.
  2. Anne is at her husband’s funeral.
  3. Anne is at her husband’s funeral because Richard killed her husband.

And it works.

The moral: Never be afraid to go for it.

What love lessons have you learned from Shakespeare?

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Author
J. Marie graduated from Duke University with a degree in International Relations and dreams of being a creative writer--dreams she's now realizing as a musical theatre writer in NYC. She's passionate about global black identities, black representation in media, and leather-bound notebooks. She also loves backpacking through a new country at a moment's notice, and speaks Spanish, Swahili and Standard Arabic.

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