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FACT CHECK: Did Shakespeare Say A Quote About A ‘Battle Of Wits’?

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Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

A post on Facebook claims English playwright William Shakespeare once said, “I would challenge you to a battle of wits, but I see you are unarmed.”

Verdict: False

This quote is apocryphal and does not appear in any of Shakespeare’s writings.

Fact Check:

While Shakespeare authored many famous sayings, this quote on wit does not come from him. It doesn’t appear in the Shakespeare Quartos Archive, an online database of all his plays, or a complete collection of his poems.

Furthermore, scholars told the Daily Caller News Foundation that they do not recognize the expression. “I don’t know where it’s from, but it is not Shakespearean,” said Paul Budra, author of “Shakespeare Early and Late: A Textbook,” in an email to the DCNF.

Versions of the phrase have also been attributed to the likes of Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain and Winston Churchill.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].


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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

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