“… what we determine oft we break.
Purpose’s but the slave to memory,
Of violent birth, but poor validity.” (Hamlet, act 3, sc. 2)
Tips for Use. A good line to exhort and make sure that decisions taken under the influence of enthusiasm are carried through and do not remain empty words. It can also apply to ourselves and here it may perhaps be helpful to quote an authoritative source on the value and use of quotes and aphorisms, Dr. Samuel Johnson, “But perhaps the excellence of aphorisms consists not so much in the expression of some rare and abstruse sentiment, as in the comprehension of some obvious and useful truths in a few words. We frequently fall into errour and folly, not because the true principles of action are not known, but because, for a time, they are not remembered; and he may therefore be justly numbered among the benefactors of mankind, who contracts the great rules of life into short sentences, that may be easily impressed on the memory, and taught by frequent recollection to recur habitually to the mind.” Therefore, in this case as in others Shakespeare helps us remember the principles of action.
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Of course, if you acquire the book “Your Daily Shakespeare” (click on “The book” in the menu), you will not only enjoy it but you will find it very useful. The quote in this post and more than ten thousand others will lead you to find the words that perfectly strengthen your argument(s). After all Shakespeare wrote them, I simply extracted, structured and compiled them so as to make Shakespeare both useful in your life endeavors and very “user friendly” as they say. And if you wish I will even sign the book. But this is the extreme extent of any “sales” effort, call or solicitation.
In the Play. The play that Hamlet has produced is full of direct and indirect references to recent real-life events. Gonzago recites these lines.
Image source: http://www.barbarayoderblog.com/2012/03/19/determination/