Illustration by Fran Labuschagne


Shakespeare is certainly a legendary playwright, famous for penning dramatic tragedies such as Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet. But did you know that he wrote countless comedies as well? He was one of the first writers to use play-on-words and puns in his scripts, so audiences flocked to the theatre to be entertained by his hilarious scenes. Which plays are the funniest? Here are four that we think are worth a giggle…


A Midsummer Night’s Dream
With a character named Bottom wearing a donkey head, there’s no doubt that A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespere’s funniest plays. The story centres around a love potion that makes the characters fall in love with whoever they see next, with hilarious results. Courtship battles and a whole lot of partner swapping make the play confusingly comedic, full of puns and slapstick scenes.

Shakespeare's Funniest Plays- Bottom - Midsummer Night's Dream 

The Comedy of Errors
It’s all in the title, isn’t it? This play consists of two sets of identical twins so it’s no wonder that the play is full of sticky situations brought about by cases of mistaken identity. The Comedy Of Errors is Shakespeare’s shortest play and, as one of his earliest scripts, it’s got less poetry and drama than some of his more legendary pieces so it’s easy to enjoy. Again, this play contains plenty of slapstick comedy and word play.

Shakespeare's Funniest Plays - Comedy of Errors 

The Taming Of The Shrew
It you’ve ever seen the film 10 Things I Hate About You, you’ve basically watched this Shakespeare play – and that movie was certainly a comedy! The play contains plenty of quick-witted sparring while Katherina, the sharp-tongued ‘Shrew’, tries to outwit the men in her life. The humour in the play shows that things aren’t always as they seem in this battle of the sexes.

Funny plays by Shakespeare -The Taming of the Shrew 

Love’s Labour’s Lost
Written around the same time as A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this play is another comedy about a group of men competing to woo a fair maiden. Even though the guys have pledged to stay away from women, the arrival of an alluring princess turns all their plans upside down. Similar to Bottom, there’s a country-bumpkin character Costard who steals the show with one-liners and gags. This play contains the longest word of any Shakespeare play: honorificabilitudinitatibus. That’s one heck of a tongue twister!