When people tell me that Shakespeare language makes no sense, and ask me for examples to prove otherwise, I’ll sometimes bring them to a joke just to demonstrate that stuff we still say today, Shakespeare said 400 years ago.
In The Tempest, when Prospero decides to tell his daughter Miranda about her true past, he says, “Did you know that your father was Duke of Milan?”
“Are you not my father?” she asks, confused.
“Your mother told me I was,” replies Prospero.
Nice thing to say about Miranda’s mom, bro. 🙂
I’ve learned over the years, however, that Shakespeare loved this joke. Taming of the Shrew:
VINCENTIO Art thou his father?
Ay, sir; so his mother says, if I may believe her.
And just today I realized that Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing tells the same joke, and takes it up a notch!
You embrace your charge too willingly. I think this
is your daughter.
Her mother hath many times told me so.
Were you in doubt, sir, that you asked her?
Signior Benedick, no; for then were you a child.
Wh…wh…ummm…. so, wait. Am I reading that wrong, or does Leonato not only tell the “I don’t know who my wife was sleeping with” joke, but then follow it up with “You were too young, Benedick, so I know it wasn’t you who impregnated my wife?”