Obesity in Shakespeare

William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice (1596-97):

  [Ner.]  They are as sick that surfeit with too much as they are that starve with nothing. (1.2.5-6)

William Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors (1592-94):

  [S. Dro.]  She, being a very beastly creature, lays claim to me.
  S. Ant.  What is she?
  S. Dro.  A very reverent body; ay, such a one as a man may not speak of without he say 'Sir-reverence.' I have but lean luck in the match, and yet is she a wondrous fat marriage.
  S. Ant.  How dost thou mean a fat marriage?
  S. Dro.  Marry, sir, she's the kitchen wench and all grease; and I know not what use to put her to but to make a lamp of her and run from her by her own light. I warrant, her rags and the tallow in them will burn a Poland winter: if she lives till doomsday, she'll burn a week longer than the whole world.
  S. Ant.  What complexion is she of?
  S. Dro.  Swart, like my shoe, but her face nothing half so clean kept: for why, she sweats; a man may go over shoes in the grime of it.
  S. Ant.  That's a fault that water will mend.
  S. Dro. No, sir, 'tis in grain; Noah's flood could not do it.
  S. Ant.  What's her name?
  S. Dro.  Nell, sir; but her name and three quarters, that's an ell and three quarters, will not measure her from hip to hip.
  S. Ant.  Then she bears some breadth?
  S. Dro.  No longer from head to foot than from hip to hip: she is spherical, like a globe. (3.2.87-114) 

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (1595):

  Nurse.  I am a-weary, give me leave a while.
Fie, how my bones ache! What a jaunce have I!
  Jul.  I would thou hadst my bones, and I thy news.
Nay, come, I pray thee speak, good, good nurse, speak.
  Nurse.  Jesu, what haste? can you not stay a while?
Do you not see that I am out of breath?
  Jul.  How art thou out of breath, wheu thou hast breath
To say to me that thou art out of breath?
The excuse that thou dost make in this delay
Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse….
  Nurse. Lord, how my head aches! what a head have I?
It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces,
My back a’ t’ other side – ah, my back, my back!
Beshrew your heart, for sending me about,
To catch my death with jaunting up and down! (2.5.25-52)

William Shakespeare, 1 Henry IV (1596-97):

  [Fal.]  When I was about thy years, Hal, I was not an eagle’s talent in the waist, I could have crept into any alderman’s thumb-ring. A plague of sighing and grief, it blows a man up like a bladder. (2.4.329-33)
  [Prince.]  There is a devil that haunts thee in the likeness of an old fat man, a tun of man is thy companion. Why dost thou converse with that trunk of humors, that bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swoll’n parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuff’s cloak-bag of guts, that roasted Manningtree ox with the pudding in his belly, that reverent Vice, that grey Iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity in years? Wherein is he good, but to taste sack and drink it? wherein neat and cleanly, but to carve a capon and eat it? wherein cunning, but in craft? wherein crafty, but in villany? wherein villanous, but in all things? wherein worthy, but in nothing? (2.4.447-59)

William Shakespeare, 2 Henry IV (1598):

  Fal.  You make fat rascals, Mistress Doll.
  Doll.  I make them! Gluttony and diseases make them: I make them not.
  Fal.  If the cook help to make the gluttony, you help to the diseases, Doll. (2.4.41-45)

William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar (1599):

  [Cas.]  Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed,
That he is grown so great? (1.2.149-50)

  Caes.  Let me have men about me that are fat;
Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o' nights:
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous. (1.2.191-95)

William Shakespeare, As You Like It (1599):

  [Jaq.]  And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin'd,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well sav'd, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank. (2.7.153-161)