SparkNotes Blog

7 Dirty Jokes You Didn’t Catch in Shakespeare’s Most Popular Plays

Nowadays Shakespeare is considered the height of high-brow literature. But what you may not have known is that the guy was, at any given moment, trying to see how many dirty jokes he could pack into a single five-act play. (The answer was usually “a lot,” sometimes bordering on “TOO MANY. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WILL, KIDS ARE GOING TO BE READING THIS.”)

And even if you already knew that Shakespeare was the rough equivalent of an eighth-grader constantly shoehorning “your mom” jokes into every conversation (sidebar: Shakespeare is often credited with making the earliest known “your mom” joke), there might still be one or two of these filthy, filthy quips that went way over your head. Let’s talk about those quips.