Alcohol & Sex

William Shakespeare: Machbet (Excerpt)
biochemistry, alcohol, sexual potential, sexual-psychology, Machbet, William Shakespeare

Was it so late, friend, ere you went to bed,
That you do lie so late?

Faith, sir, we were carousing till the second cock;a
and drink, sir, is a great provoker of three things.

What three things does drink especially pro-

Marryb, sir, nose-paintingc, sleep, and urine.
Lechery, sir, it provokes and unprovokes: it provokes
the desire, but it takes away the performance. There-
fore much drink may be said to be an equivocator
with lechery: it makes him, and it mars him; it sets him
on, and it takes him off; it persuades him and dis-
heartens him; makes him stand tod and not stand to; in
conclusion, equivocatese him in a sleep, and giving him
the lie, leaves him.

  • athe second cocki.e., three a.m.
  • bMarry – indeed
  • cnose-painting – reddening of the nose through drink
  • dstand to – have an erection
  • eequivocates him in a sleep, and, giving him the lie, leaves him – deceives him in a dream and telling him that he is a liar, abandons him (Note that the “him” is still “lechery”. Drink, having provoked lechery and taken away lechery’s ability to perform, makes lechery dream that he can perform, but also tells him it’s all a lie.)
  • SHAKESPEARE, William: Macbeth (Acte II Scene 3; circa 1605) In: The Works of William Shakespeare. Vols. I—VII. From text of the Rev. Alexander Duyce’s second edition. (Collection of British Authors Tauchnitz Edition, 40—47.) Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1868
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