8 Wisest Lines from Shakespeare’s Fools

Jeff O'Neal

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Jeff O'Neal is the executive editor of Book Riot and Panels. He also co-hosts The Book Riot Podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @thejeffoneal.

April Fools’ Day is fast approaching, so here’s a look at the knavish wisdom of the Bard’s merriest philosophers.

1. Truth’s a dog must to kennel; he must be whipp’d out…
-The Fool, King Lear, I.4.640

2. For honesty coupled to beauty is to have honey a sauce to sugar.

-Touchstone, As You Like It, III.3.1528

3. Why, ‘some are born great, some achieve greatness,
and some have greatness thrown upon them.
-Feste, Twelfth Night, V.1.2583

4. Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.

-Feste, Twelfth Night,  I.5.328

5. Good counsellors lack no clients: though you change your place, you need not
change your trade.
-Pompey, Measure for Measure, I.2.195

6. Winning will put any man into courage.

-Cloten, Cymbeline, II.3.983

7. If men could be contented to be what they are, there were no fear in marriage.
-Clown, All’s Well That Ends Well, I.3.372

8. The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be
a fool.
-Touchstone, As You Like It, V.1.2217