Famous Phrases by Shakespeare

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PHRASES BY SHAKESPEARE

ET TU, BRUTE?

MEANING

Supposedly the words of Julius Caesar. Literally ‘And you, Brutus? ” .

ORIGIN
In 44 BC, Julius Caesar was killed by a group of senators. They were directed by Marcus Brutus, who’d previously been a friend of Caesar. There is no substantiated evidence to demonstrate that Julius Caesar spoke those words. They come to us via the play of Shakespeare Julius Caesar which, like most of his history plays, will massage historical record for dramatic impact. In the drama Caesar begins to resist the assault but resigns himself to his destiny when he sees that his friend is one of the plotters. (famous phrases by shakespeare)

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WOULD SMELL AS SWEET

MEANING

What matters is what something is, not what it is called.

ORIGIN
A story favoured by tour guides and such highly guess, is that in this line Shakespeare was making a joke. The Rose was a neighborhood rival for his Globe Theatre and is reputed to have had less than effective sanitary agreements. The story goes that this is really a joke about the odor. This certainly gets the whiff of folk etymology concerning it, but it might just be accurate. (famous phrases by shakespeare)

 

 

ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD

MEANING

Not everything that is shiny and superficially attractive is beneficial.

ORIGIN
The original form of this expression was ‘all that glisters is not gold’. The ‘glitters’ version long ago superseded the original and is now nearly universally employed.

Shakespeare is the writer to have voiced the idea that shiny things are not necessarily precious things. The original editions of The Merchant of Venice, 1596, possess the line as ‘all that glisters is not gold’. ‘Glister’ is generally substituted by ‘glitter’ in contemporary renditions of this drama.

The ‘glitters’ version of this expression is indeed long established because to be okay – especially since ‘glisters’ and ‘glitters’ imply exactly the exact same thing. Just the most pedantic insist that ‘all that glisters is not gold’ is right and that ‘all that glitters is not gold’, being a misquotation, nevertheless cobweb-laden, ought to be shunned. (famous phrases by shakespeare)

 

 

BE ALL AND END ALL

MEANING

The entire thing. The previous word. Something which so entirely suitable as to eliminate the need for a hunt for an alternative.

ORIGIN

As anyone who understands the storyline of that the play will probably be aware, things do not turn out quite so simply for the murder and Macbeth is far from being the ‘end all’.

In everyday speech we use the expression ‘be all and end all’ than in years past but it has not become archaic quite . (famous phrases by shakespeare)

 

 

O ROMEO, ROMEO! WHEREFORE ART THOU ROMEO?

MEANING

Literal meaning.

ORIGIN

This is one of Shakespeare’s best known lines – out, naturally, Romeo and Juliet, 1592.

The ‘wherefore’ here means instead of where. ‘. Their love is impossible due to their family names and she asks him to alter his allegiance, or she will alter sanity. (famous phrases by shakespeare)

(famous phrases by shakespeare)

 

SET ONE’S TEETH ON EDGE

MEANING

Literally, to create an unpleasant tingling of the teeth. More commonly, the expression is used to describe some feeling of disagreeable distaste.

ORIGIN

The earlier type of this term was ‘to border the ‘ teeth’ and described the feeling of sensitivity brought on by acidic preferences, like raw rhubarb.

A Middle English citation of a version of ‘teeth on edge’ is located in Wyclif’s Bible, or to give it its entire title The Holy Bible, created in the Latin Vulgate by John Wycliffe and his followers, 1382. (famous phrases by shakespeare)

 

 

HIGH TIME

MEANING

The time that something is due (bordering on overdue) has to be done.

ORIGIN

This is distinct from the similar ‘a high time’, meaning ‘a jolly and happy time‘.

This term has been used to imply ‘a debate’, but that meaning is fresh and archaic now.

‘High time’ derives from the allusion to the warmest time of day – if the sun is highest in the sky. High noon is just another way of saying it. Shakespeare found it in his Comedy of Errors, 1590. (famous phrases by shakespeare)

(famous phrases by shakespeare)

 

A PLAGUE ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES

MEANING

A curse on both sides of a debate.

ORIGIN

The homes are such of the Montague and Capulet families, the feud between whom induced Juliet a lot of grief and has been the origin of her speech.

Shakespeare was fond and used it countless times in his plays. Surprisingly, as the Bible is the most prominent source of phrases which have entered the English language, there isn’t a single usage of this word ‘Bible’ in some of his plays.

The tradition of displaying plaques that are blue around the houses lived in by persons that are prominent, currently administered in the united kingdom from English Heritage, contributes to some nice play on words relating to Brook Street, Westminster, London. The residents have a plaque on their homes. (famous phrases by shakespeare)

 

AS PURE AS THE DRIVEN SNOW

MEANING

Entirely pure.

ORIGIN

‘Driven snow’ is snow which has blown into drifts and is untrodded and tidy. Cases of this precise text ‘as pure as [the] driven snow’ are not seen in print until around the beginning of the 19th century. We must thank Shakespeare with this hot simile. The phrase ‘pure as the driven snow’ does not appear in Shakespeare’s writing, but it almost does, and snow was utilized by him for a symbol for purity and whiteness in many plays.

An alternative derivation of this simile was suggested that originates from a completely different source. Medieval tanners utilized animal faeces in the leather tanning process – specifically dogs’ droppings, to which they gave the incongruous name ‘pure’. Some have theorized that ‘pure’ called the white variant of the said stools which used to be seen and that ‘as the driven snow’ stems from this association. It does not; the ‘pure’ name originated in the purification of the leather brought on by the enzymes found in the excrement also has nothing to do with ‘as pure as driven snow’. (famous phrases by shakespeare)

(famous phrases by shakespeare)

 

FOR EVER AND A DAY

MEANING

Indefinitely.

ORIGIN

Needless to say, for ever and a day is a dramatic build with no literal meaning – for is for ever, we can not add days to it. This kind of dramatic emphasis was used many times, a current example being The Beatles’ tune ‘Eight Days a Week’. (famous phrases by shakespeare)

 

 

LILY-LIVERED

MEANING

Cowardly.

ORIGIN

I guess it is the task of idioms to provide richness to the speech by creating meaning that is different to the literal meaning of this idiom’s individual words.

One hint is that our Middle Ages predecessors believed the liver to be in charge of our emotions. It had been believed to be the manhood that generated blood and that a functioning liver has been the reason behind psychological or physical weakness. Anyone who had been choleric, bilious or irritable was tagged ‘liverish’. There were many ‘livery’ conditions.

In exactly the exact same manner as ‘liver’, ‘lily’ was used as a prefix in a number of descriptive conditions, in this instance describing conditions which exemplify purity or paleness – lily-cheeked, lily-fingered, lily-handed, lily-wristed and so forth. (famous phrases by shakespeare)

(famous phrases by shakespeare)

 

 

I SEE YOU STAND LIKE GREYHOUND IN THE SLIPS

MEANING

I see you’re prepared and anxious to leave.

ORIGIN

The slips would be the slip collars which are worn with greyhounds when they’re going to be hurried. If the dogs were used for hunting (coursing) those collars let the huntsmen to spare a pair of puppies in a minute’s notice. The allusion in the term is to soldiers that are anxious to charge in to battle. The line comes towards the end of the renowned ‘once again into the breach’ speech from Shakespeare’s Henry V, 1598. (famous phrases by shakespeare)

 

 

IN STITCHES

MEANING

Laughing uproariously.

ORIGIN

To be in stitches is to be in this paroxysm of laughter as to be in physical pain. The allusion implicit in the term is to that of a sharp pain – like being pricked with a needle.

The expression was first used by Shakespeare in Twelfth Night, 1602.

Despite the use in Shakespeare, the term didn’t become established in the speech and there are no recordings of it until the 20th century. (famous phrases by shakespeare)

 

 

MAKE YOUR HAIR STAND ON END

MEANING

Something frightening.

ORIGIN

Shakespeare conjured up several images in his functions; couple though an are more vivid compared to the psychological picture of a fretful porcupine.

The allusion of causes your hair stand on end is into the true sensation of hairs, especially those around the throat, standing upright once the skin contracts because of cold or to dread. This is otherwise called ‘goose-flesh’ and the condition is, or rather was, also understood from the entirely splendid word horripilation. (famous phrases by shakespeare)

(famous phrases by shakespeare)

 

 

NOW IS THE WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT

MEANING

Now the time of unhappiness is beyond.

ORIGIN

Today is the winter of our discontent, made glorious summer by this sun of York was coined by Shakespeare and place into print in Richard III, 1594. The ‘sunshine of York’ was not obviously a remark on Yorkshire weather however on King Richard. In this play Shakespeare presents a report on Richard’s personality which, until the 20th century formed the opinion of him as a schemer. Historians now view that representation because a dramatic plot device – needed for its villainous role that Shakespeare had spent him.

It isn’t consistent with what is currently known of Richard III, who in many ways revealed himself to become an enlightened and forward-looking monarch. The discovery of Richard’s skeleton beneath a car park in Leicester has provided precise evidence of the degree of his deformity. While being somewhat curved Richard’s spinal deformity has been demonstrated to have been exaggerated and deliberately falsified in certain portraits. (famous phrases by shakespeare)

 

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