He Said What? 8 of Shakespeare’s Wildest Lines

William Shakespeare, renowned for his unparalleled mastery of the English language, is not only celebrated for his tragic tales and profound soliloquies but also for his comedic genius. Within the vast array of his works, Shakespeare sprinkled numerous lines that continue to tickle our funny bones centuries later. Let’s delve into eight of Shakespeare’s wildest, funniest lines that showcase his wit and humor.


“I do desire we may be better strangers.” – As You Like It (Act 3, Scene 2)

In “As You Like It,” Rosalind delivers this witty line to Orlando, humorously suggesting that perhaps it would be best for them to remain strangers rather than attempt to deepen their acquaintance. The irony and cheekiness of this remark never fail to garner a chuckle from readers and audiences alike.


“I would rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me.” – Much Ado About Nothing (Act 1, Scene 1)

Beatrice, known for her sharp tongue and quick wit, delivers this hilarious line in “Much Ado About Nothing.” Her preference for her dog’s barking over insincere declarations of love highlights her cynicism and comedic flair.


“Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?” – Romeo and Juliet (Act 1, Scene 1)

The opening scene of “Romeo and Juliet” sets the stage for the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues, with Sampson’s provocative question sparking the conflict. This line’s absurdity and the ensuing chaos make it a memorable comedic moment.


“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” – As You Like It (Act 5, Scene 1)

Touchstone, the witty court jester in “As You Like It,” delivers this humorous observation about the nature of wisdom. His astute yet playful commentary adds depth to the comedy of the play.


“I am not bound to please thee with my answer.” – The Merchant of Venice (Act 4, Scene 1)

 Portia’s response to Shylock’s demands in “The Merchant of Venice” is both clever and amusing. Her defiance and independence shine through in this witty retort, earning her admiration and laughter from audiences.


“Lord, what fools these mortals be!” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Act 3, Scene 2)

Puck’s mischievous observation about the folly of mortals captures the whimsical spirit of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” This line serves as a humorous commentary on the absurdities of human behavior, delivered with Puck’s trademark charm.


“Though she be but little, she is fierce!” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Act 3, Scene 2)

This iconic line, spoken by Helena in praise of Hermia, showcases Shakespeare’s ability to infuse humor into moments of sincerity. The juxtaposition of Hermia’s small stature with her fierce determination adds depth and humor to the character.


“Exit, pursued by a bear.” – The Winter’s Tale (Act 3, Scene 3)

This famously absurd stage direction in “The Winter’s Tale” has become synonymous with Shakespearean humor. The sheer randomness of a bear suddenly appearing onstage to chase a character off adds a touch of hilarity to the play’s dramatic events.


Shakespeare’s comedic genius shines through in these eight lines, demonstrating his unparalleled ability to blend wit, satire, and absurdity into his works. Whether delivering biting sarcasm or whimsical observations, Shakespeare continues to elicit laughter from audiences around the world centuries after his time.


To learn more about poetry in drama, check out Great Plays that Mix Poetry and Drama!