Shakespeare on Silence and Happiness

Silence is the perfectest herald of joyBEATRICE. Speak, count, it is your cue.
CLAUDIO. Silence is the perfectest herald of joy: I were
but little happy, if I could say how much
(Much Ado About Nothing, act 2, sc. 1)

Tips for Use. Excellent reply when you are not in the mood to talk and your silence is interpreted as moodiness, disapproval, lack of interest or boredom. The declaration is necessary, especially considering that, usually, silence has a negative connotation. For example, in Vittorio Alfieri’s play, ‘La Congiura dei Pazzi’, “Deep vengeance is the daughter of deep silence” (La vendetta, d’alto silenzio e’ figlia). Or, as we find in a fable by the French LaFontaine, “Silent people are dangerous” (Les gens sans bruit sont dangereux).
Ovid gives a more balanced opinion, ‘Keeping silence is but a small virtue, but to speak what should not be uttered is a heinous crime’ Art of Loving, book 2. Some people make silence their visiting card, as noted by Goldsmith in his play, “The Good-Natured Man”, “Silence is become his mother-tongue.”
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In the play. Leonato has just consented to Claudio marrying his daughter and Beatrice, who is present, prompts Claudio to speak. Claudio is speechless out of happiness.

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