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The meaning and origin of the expression: The Devil incarnate

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The Devil incarnate

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The Devil in human form.


From Shakespeare's King Henry V, 1598, and Titus Andronicus, 1588:

Henry V - Boy: Yes, that a' did; and said they were devils

Titus Andronicus - LUCIUS: O worthy Goth, this is the incarnate devil
That robb'd Andronicus of his good hand;
This is the pearl that pleased your empress' eye,
And here's the base fruit of his burning lust.
Say, wall-eyed slave, whither wouldst thou convey
This growing image of thy fiend-like face?
Why dost not speak? what, deaf? not a word?
A halter, soldiers! hang him on this tree.
And by his side his fruit of bastardy.

Cobbe family portrait of William ShakespeareSee other phrases and sayings from Shakespeare.