BORIS Johnson has demanded plotters against him reveal themselves — as he compared bitter Brexit battles to Shakespeare’s tragedies.
The Foreign Secretary insisted those calling for his head should be identified, adding “bring them to me, produce them”.
And he quoted three of the Bard’s plays that are all about killing a leader and seizing control of countries.
Labour’s Keven Brennan said Mr Johnson’s choice of words were “the perfect metaphor” for Theresa May's weakened position and questions over her future.
Addressing a think tank, Mr Johnson quoted Shakespeare’s Hamlet — where a young prince broods about bringing down a king, but sparks the death of the entire Danish Royal family.
Pushed on Brexit Mr Johnson urged EU leaders to speed up Brexit as they prepared for fresh trade talks.
He told Chatham House: “I suggest humbly to our friends and partners in Brussels now is the time to get on with it.
“Let’s not let ‘I dare not’ wait upon ‘I would’, or let the native hue of resolution be sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought — or whatever.
“There is a current in the affair of men – they should grip it and get on with it and start talking about the future.”
“Sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought” is from Hamlet, while “letting ‘I dare not’ wait upon ‘I would’” is from Macbeth — another play about a scheme to murder a leader.
And “there is a tide in the affairs of men” is from Julius Ceaser, who was famously assassinated by pal Brutus.
In an awkward Commons exchange, the PM defended Mr Johnson’s colourful language while he was flanking her on the Government front bench.
She told MPs: “I always welcome the literary and classical references that my right honourable friend brings to bear in his speeches and his statements.”
She added: “He and I are both working to ensure we get the right deal with the EU when we leave.”
Mr Johnson also used his speech to foreign policy experts to back Donald Trump’s stance against North Korea, but slap down the President over his endangering of the nuclear deal with Iran.
He also said the international community had “lost Russia” and called for “soul searching” on both sides over why.