Hamlet, act 2, sc. 2

 “…And now remains
That we find the cause of this effect”

In Current Language: We must try to understand the causes of what’s happening.

Suggestions For Use: When you are on the point of explaining to an audience the reasons behind a series of events and when the subject may be politically sensitive. The reference to Polonius, the speaker of this quote and generally amusing character in Hamlet, may hint that your explanation is purely historical and has no other hidden or malicious intent.

What Happens in the Actual Play:  Polonius undertakes a somewhat rhetorical explanation of Hamlet’s odd behavior, which he attributes to Hamlet’s passion for the lovely Ophelia.

Jimmie’s Comment.

For some of us it is difficult to inwardly reconcile the generalized spirit of goodness that characterizes the Christmas season, with the current and ongoing genocide in Palestine. Continue reading

Posted in Amusing Shakespeare, Elegant Shakespearean Quotes | Leave a comment

King Richard III, act 5, sc. 2

               “True hope is swift, and flies with swallow’s wings:
Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures kings.”

In Current Language:
Hope, sustained by good reasons and good motives, is nimble, and soars with the graces of a flying swallow. It can transform kings into divine creatures and common citizens into kings.

Suggestions For Use:
Use as an encouraging remark inserted into a morale-boosting speech. Or as a good ending to a presentation that includes a call to action for a noble cause. Continue reading

Posted in Elegant Shakespearean Quotes, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Titus Andronicus, act 5, sc. 3 “If one good deed…”

Ten thousand evils worse than ever yet I did
Would I perform, if I might have my will:
If one good deed in all my life I did,
I do repent it from my very soul”


In Current Language:
Titus Andronicus is the grisliest, bloodiest and most gruesome among Shakespeare’s plays. Uttering these words is Aaron, top arch-villain among the other archvillains of the play. These lines, with which the play is concluded, almost need no translation – still here it is:
“I would perform ten thousand evils worse than all my previous ones, if I had my will. If through my life I did just one good deed, I repent of having done it, from the core of my soul.” Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Richard III, act 3, sc. 7 “… meditating with two deep divines”

Play: Richard III, act 3, sc. 7

Actual Quote:
“… my lord, this prince is not an Edward!
He is not lolling on a lewd day-bed,
But on his knees at meditation;
Not dallyin
g with a brace of courtezans,
But meditating with two deep divines;
Not sleeping, to engross his idle body,
But praying, to enrich his watchful soul…”

In Current Language:
For a better treatment, an explanation of the quote-context should precede the quote itself. Still, I will keep to the traditional format of this segment of the program.
Uttering these words in the play is Buckingham, partner in crimes of Richard III. The idea is to convince the mayor of London and his associates that Richard is a worthier ruler than the legitimate Edward, whom Richard will have assassinated later. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Twelfth Night, act 3, sc. 4

Actual Quote:
“If this were played upon a stage now,
I could condemn it as an improbable fiction.”

In Current Language:
If I witnessed these events played on a stage, I would rate the fiction as unrealistic.

Suggestions For Use: Colorful way to express incredulity at what is happening under your eyes, directly or at a distance.

What Happens in the Actual Play:
Malvolio, Olivia’s butler, is secretly in love with his employer. Other characters in the play trick him into believing that his feelings are reciprocated. One of the pranksters forges a letter to Malvolio, supposedly from Olivia, suggesting that she loves him and that, as a signal that he reciprocates her love, he should wear yellow stockings and smile all the time.
Malvolio does as the letter suggests, but Olivia thinks that he has gone mad and has him locked up. On seeing some of Malvolio’s ridiculous gesturing, a character called Fabio believes that, even as fiction, the plot would be unrealistic. Continue reading

Posted in Amusing Shakespeare, Best Shakespeare Quotes | Leave a comment

All’s Well That Ends Well, act 3, sc. 3

Actual Quote
“The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill go together: our virtues would be proud, if our faults whipped them not, and our crimes would despair, if they were not cherished by our virtues.”

In Current Language:
Life can be compared to a yarn, woven into an intricate metaphorical web, containing a mixture of good and bad. Shakespeare likes to convert abstract into concrete ideas or even ideas that have a material life and personality of their own. In this instance, it is as if both virtues and faults had an independent body and soul. Therefore, our virtues could be proud or make us proud, were it not that our faults whip our virtues. Equally, there would be no hope for our shortcomings – let alone crimes – were it not that our virtues act as a kind of remedies or rectifiers, providing a counterbalance to our failings.

Suggestions For Use:
The quote embodies a virtual yet persuasive psychological message of hope, when (depending of course on individual personalities), we are inclined to feel pessimistic and critical of ourselves on reviewing our life as lived so far. It can also be a message of encouragement for a friend who feels down in the proverbial dumps, due to whatever circumstances.
Continue reading

Posted in Best Shakespeare Quotes, Education, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

King Richard III, act 4. Sc. 4

Actual Quote:
“An honest tale speeds best being plainly told.”

In Current Language:
An audience responds more positively to a story that is told simply

Suggestions For Use: It could be your comment on questionable, dubious and intricate statements. Any listener intent to find applications of the quote would have no problem in filling any 24-hour interval, chosen at random, with an abundance of examples, extracted from politicians and/or from people at large who believe themselves to be very important

Continue reading

Posted in Elegant Shakespearean Quotes, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hamlet, act 3, sc. 3, Crime and Remorse

Actual Quote:
“My words fly up, my thoughts remain below:
Words without thoughts never to heaven go.”

In Current Language:
My words may seem or sound good, but my thoughts have not changed. From the point of view of decency and honor, hypocritical words are empty and useless.

Suggestions For Use: Apply part of the quote [Words without thoughts never to heaven go], as an example or comparison, to signify distaste when hearing certain people speak, often some politicians…expressing a regret that sounds hollow, formal and insincere.

What Happens in the Actual Play:
King Claudius tries to pray as a form of atonement for the murder of his own brother, Hamlet’s father. But Claudius himself knows that his words are not sincere, as he continues and cannot avoid enjoying the fruits of his murder.
Continue reading

Posted in Best Shakespeare Quotes, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Tempest, act 1, sc. 1 – Results of Language Learning

                                                       Actual Quote:
 “You taught me language and my profit on it
Is, I know how to curse.”

In Current Language:
The quote is clear without a translation. Still, here is one for consistency. You schooled me and the only thing that remained in me of your language training is that I know how to curse.

What Happens in the Actual Play:
Saying these words is Caliban, in the play portrayed as a monster of mind and soul, being the son of the evil witch Sycorax . Prospero, Caliban’s master, had attempted to reform Caliban by various healing measures, including the teaching of English. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Merchant of Venice, on Pretension of Goodness, Act 2, sc.2

Actual Quote:     “There is no vice so simple but assumes
Some mark of virtue on his outward parts”

In Current Language:
Almost every vice may be made to present an outward appearance of goodness.

Suggestions For Use:
When your political adversary tries to cover up or apply a good spin to something particularly bad.
What Happens in the Actual Play:
Among her suitors, the fair Portia will marry him who will solve a riddle. Before attempting to do so, Bassanio meditates on some important truths, including the truth contained in the quote for this episode of the ‘Limeys’ [a London-base Internet-Radio program where these quotes and comments are broadcast.] Bassanio will be eventually the one who solves the riddle and marries Portia.
The quote well describes the “modus operandi” of various government organizations and/or individuals. At least on the basis of what most of us have occasion to see or deduce through simple personal logic, rather than coarse belief in the information provided by the controlled media. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment