A certain convocation of politic worms are e’en at him.

I don’t get a lot of the contemporary political jokes that Shakespeare included in the plays. I don’t know what I don’t know in this department.
In this case, though, it seems I’ve always know that this line is a reference to the Diet of Worms, named for the town that the convocation was held in.

What I didn’t know was what the convocation was for. I didn’t know that this line was a reference to the reformation. I didn’t know that the convocation was a collection of priests. I’d have to think a lot more deeply about it to work out that layer. Though, certainly, I can’t help but picture some worms dressed up in priest outfits eating a dead body.

For me, this line has always felt like a pop culture pun in a contemporary comedy – a little shout out to the issues of the day – a way to make an audience nod and say, “I see what you did there.”

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