Hamlet and the Knock-knock joke

This is the short and the long of it. The Merry Wives of Windsor Act 2, Scene 2.

You know Shakespeare invented the knock-knock joke. In  Act 1 Scene 1, “Hamlet” begins with “Who’s there?” Made me wonder if “Hamlet” was one long knock-knock joke without a punch line.

You know, in those days, there were not any knock-knock jokes going around. Until:

Barnardo: “Knock knock.”

Francisco: “Who’s there?”

Barnardo: “Eliza.”

Francisco: “Eliza Who?”

Barnardo: “Eliza Bet You Can’t Be Queen.

Francisco: “I may not be Queen but I sure can sing.”

Barnardo: “Sing?”

Francisco: “Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?”

Okay, you didn’t get it. Shakespeare did, and so did Freddie Mercury.

This “Who’s there?” asked by Francisco, the guard on the turret, sets the whole mood and theme of the play. The play is about who is who and what is what and getting it all sorted out.

Do you have a favorite knock-knock joke?

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9 thoughts on “Hamlet and the Knock-knock joke

  1. I was thrilled to see the return of your Hamlet series. I absolutely got the knock-knock joke, but then I taught elementary school for years. I also have grandchildren, the youngest’s latest contribution: Knock-knock. Who’s there. A goat. A goat who? It died.

  2. I’m terrible at remembering jokes, but here are a couple from my kids:
    Knock, knock. Who’s there? Europe. Europe who? No, I’m not, you are!
    Knock, knock. Who’s there? Dwayne. Dwayne who? Dwayne the tub, I’m dwowning!

  3. Oh gosh, ask my children and they would probably never shut up. Me, I’m at a loss beyond the aforementioned Orange-Banana one. I do have a favorite Queen song though…it just changes from day to day.

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