Today’s Shakespearean word of the day is… illness
Warning! Don’t read in the modern meaning of ‘sickness.’
In Shakespeare, illness means wickedness.
Lady Macbeth thinks Macbeth wants to be great ‘but without/ The illness should attend it’– without the wickedness that often lies behind ambition (Macbeth, 1.5.19).
Listen to the pronunciation of illness here
This definition is taken from the Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary, a unique dictionary to unlock the mysteries of Shakespeare’s world, words and language, compiled by renowned English language expert David Crystal and Shakespearean actor and producer Ben Crystal.