A-Z of Shakespeare – M


Today’s Shakespearean word of the day is… madonna

M - madonnaWarning! Don’t read in the title of the Virgin Mary (or the stage name of a famous pop singer!)

Madonna is a noun meaning ‘my lady’, used in Shakespeare as an affectionate, jocular term of endearment.

In Twelfth Night, Feste calls Olivia ‘good madonna’ (Twelfth Night, 1.5.54).


Shakespeare Dictionary _130This 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.