Shakespeare Quote of the Day!

We are the makers of manners…

Henry V, V.2

Today’s quote comes from Henry the Fifth–a history play?!

Don’t worry, there’s no quiz. I’ll spare you the historical context.

All we need to know is that beloved English hero Henry V (of the famous “Band of Brother’s” speech) is trying to woo the beautiful Katherine of France…and he’s failing.

Henry wants to kiss her, but Katherine of France insists that it isn’t proper to kiss before marriage.  So our hero Henry argues simply, “We are the makers of manners…”

Basically, we make our own rules!

I love this quote because it puts the power in our own hands.  We are free to decide what serves us and what doesn’t.  We learn the traditions, but ultimately we have the power.

Shakespeare Quote of the Day!

Thou, nature, art my goddess.”

-King Lear, I.2

tree with brunch and green leaves during sunset
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Today’s quote comes from King Lear.

Nature as a goddess, what a beautiful image!

But, this is Shakespeare…nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

Edmund (the illegitimate son of Gloucester) is the one speaking this soliloquy.  He goes on to tell us that the reason he follows the laws of nature instead of the actual law is because he wants to steal his older (legitimate) brother’s inheritance.  Not cool, Edmund!

So rather than a sentimental musing about Nature, Edmund is using the laws of Nature to justify his evil plotting.  It’s almost Darwinian.  You know, before Darwin was a thing.

Shakespeare Quote of the Day!

“I am sick when I do look on thee.”

– A Midsummer Night’s Dream II.1

This classic jab from A Midsummer Night’s Dream brings us to the wonderful world of Shakespearean insults! (A quick Google search will take you down the most delightful rabbit-hole of them.)

This one is pretty straightforward.  Helena is aggressively pursuing Demetrius, but of course he doesn’t share her love.  In fact, no matter how much he tries to let her down gently, Helena will not be deterred!

Finally, Demetrius has no choice but to get mean, saying in no uncertain terms, “I am sick when I do look on thee.”

But is Helena discouraged?  Oh no.  Without missing a beat she responds with, “And I am sick when I look not on you.”

Ah, young love.  So powerful.  So deep.  So irrational…

Stay tuned for your next chance to see the ShakesBEARS version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Shakespeare Quote of the Day!

“Doubt thou the stars are fire,

Doubt thou the sun doth move,

Doubt truth to be a liar,

But never doubt I love.”

– Hamlet, II.2
brown paper envelope on table
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I love this quote from Hamlet to Ophelia.  OMG, so sweet, right?

Well…it would be.  Except that these lines are actually spoken by OPHELIA’S DAD to HAMLET’S MOM!

That’s right.  Exemplifying every teenager’s worst nightmare, Ophelia and Hamlet’s parents are standing around talking about the teenage romance.  Even worse, Ophelia’s dad has found Hamlet’s love letters and is reading them OUT LOUD to Hamlet’s parents.  #mortifying!

So, the real reason why I love this quote is because it’s beautiful, but not so straightforward.  Like many of Shakespeare’s best quotes…

Want to learn more?  You can read the entire play for FREE with Folger Digital Texts.

Shakespeare Quote of the Day!

“That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet.”

-Romeo and Juliet, II.2

red roses close up photography
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Everyone knows this classic line from Romeo and Juliet.  So, what does it mean?

Juliet has just met the love of her life.  But as fate would have it, her new boo is the son of her family’s mortal enemy!

However, Juliet is a smart gal.  She recognizes that it’s only Romeo’s last name that stands in the way of their love.  Using the rose analogy, Juliet sees that the names and labels that we use every day don’t actually define us.

After all, a rose is still a rose—no matter what you call it.

Want to learn more?  You can read the entire play for FREE with Folger Digital Texts.