I shall cut out your tongue.
'Tis no matter, I shall speak as much as thou afterwards.
No more words, Thersites, peace!
I will hold my peace when Achilles' brach bids me, shall
There's for you, Patroclus.
I will see you hang'd like clatpoles ere I come any more to
your tents. I will keep where there is wit stirring, and leave
faction of fools. [Exit]
A good riddance.
The Oxford English Dictionary lists no use of "(a) good
riddance" before 1782, although it does cite Portia's "a gentle
riddance" from the earlier Merchant of Venice (Act 2, scene 7) in
its entry for "riddance." Portia means the same thing Patroclus
means: "glad to be rid of you." We have preserved the phrase only
in the form "good riddance," dropping the article "a"—the phrase is
less descriptive now, and more expletive. We don't really think of
"riddance" as a noun, which might be modified by adjectives such as
"good," "gentle," "fair," or "bad."
In this case, Patroclus, a Greek warrior dear to Achilles,
expresses relief as the satirical rogue Thersites departs.
Thersites makes a sport of mocking fellow Greeks who have
pretensions to valor, honor, and such like qualities. Here he
deflates Patroclus by calling him "Achilles' brach"—that is,
"Achilles' bitch"—an indecent characterization of the intimate
friendship between Achilles and Patroclus. Spurned, Thersites vows
to see this crowd "hang'd like clatpoles" before he comes back to
their tents to "entertain" them again. In Elizabethan slang,
"clatpole" or "clotpole" meant "blockhead" or "wooden head," which
Thersites imagines being hung from a rope. "Clotpole" derives from