Wordy Wednesday – “Off with their heads!”

Have you ever been so angry you just wanted to shout “OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!!!!!!”

Well, that phrase that many of us secretly want to shout out for the world to hear was actually invented by our good friend William Shakespeare! He has used this phrase in several of his works, including King Richard III and Henry VI Part 3.

Richard:
“Off with his head!”

-King Richard III

QUEEN MARGARET:
Off with his head, and set it on York gates;
So York may overlook the town of York.

-Henry VI Part 3

Generally, this phrase is used in Shakespeare’s works by people with positions of power, like Kings and Queens. I doubt it would be as effective if commoners took to the streets shouting “OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!” at every passing person. There would be no heads left! The phrase is pretty self-explanatory, but I thought I would share it with you, because it is so well known. It has been used many times again in literature, film, and other areas of popular culture.

One of the most famous uses of the phrase, as I am sure many of you know, is from Alice in Wonderland. It was used in the original 1865 Lewis Carroll story, and has had many reproductions since.

There are many other examples of the use of this phrase. Try finding some different examples and leave me a comment with your favourite!

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