Shakespeare on Commitment, Purpose and/or Lack of them

Image to represent purpose, commitment and vows“It is the purpose that makes strong the vow;
But vows to every purpose must not hold.”
(Troilus and Cressida act 5, sc. 3)

Tips for Use. There are two applications possible. One (“It is the purpose that makes strong the vow) is a warning or caution against inconsistency – especially applicable to politicians. As general rule the more vague is the ‘vow’ the more likely that it means nothing. Typical is Obama’s campaign slogan “Yes we can”. If anyone can offer at least a semi-rational meaning, please write about it.
Equally as frequent…are vows that have no purpose behind it other than getting votes – in that case the second line offers an excellent justification, if not rational at least poetical “But vows to every purpose must not hold.”
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In the play. Cassandra and Andromache plead with Hector not to fight with Achilles, though Hector swore to seal his commitment to do so.

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