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Shakespeare quotes page

PLAY: Macbeth ACT/SCENE: 3.5 SPEAKER: Hecate CONTEXT: He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear
His hopes ‘bove wisdom, grace, and fear.
And you all know, security
Is mortals’ chiefest enemy. DUTCH: Zorgeloosheid is de voornaamste vijand van stervelingen./
En ‘t is de waan van veiligheid, Die wis verderf den mensch bereidt.
MORE: Schmidt:
Security=carelessness, want of caution, confidence
Compleat:
Security=Zorgeloosheyd Topics: hope/optimism, ambition, haste, , wisdom, security

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 1
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Joan la Pucelle
CONTEXT:
Assign’d am I to be the English scourge.
This night the siege assuredly I’ll raise:
Expect Saint Martin’s summer, halcyon days,
Since I have entered into these wars.
Glory is like a circle in the water,
Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself
Till by broad spreading it disperse to nought.
With Henry’s death the English circle ends;
Dispersed are the glories it included.
Now am I like that proud insulting ship
Which Caesar and his fortune bare at once.

DUTCH:
Ik ben tot Englands geese! uitverkoren.
Nog deze nacht ontzet ik wis de stad;
Verwacht, nu ik den strijd aanvaard, een schoonen
Sint Maartenszomer, Halcyonendagen.

MORE:
Saint Martin’s summer=Equivalent of an ‘Indian summer’
Halcyon days=Unseasonable calm (so called because when it was calm in winter the kingfisher could build its nest)
Halcyon=Kingfisher
“Pround insulting ship” is a ref. to Plutarch, who wrote that Caesar told the captain of his ship no harm would befall him because he was carrying Caesar and therefore had Caesar’s ‘fortune’
Insulting=Triumphant

Compleat:
Halcyon (a sea-owl)=Een zekere Zee-vogel
Halcyon days=Een tijd van vrede en rust

Burgersdijk notes:
Sint Maartenszomer, Halcyonendagen. Halcyonendagen waren bij de ouden schoone, stormlooze dagen. Het schoone weder, op een storm volgend, wordt hier met een schoonen zomerschen dag in November, op Sint Maarten, vergeleken.

Ik ben nu als dat fiere schip, dat eens Tegader Caesar droeg en zijn geluk. Het verhaal, dat Caesar eens zijn bezorgden schipper toeriep: „Wees goedsmoeds, knaap, want gij hebt Cesar en zijn geluk aan boord”, vond Shakespeare in de vertaling van Plutarchus door North, een werk, dat zeker vlijtig door hem beoefend werd en dat hem aanleiding gaf tot de meeste geleerde toespelingen, waaraan dit stuk rijk is.

Topics: fate/destiny, achievement, hope/optimism, nature

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Lord Bardolph
CONTEXT:
LORD BARDOLPH
It was, my lord; who lined himself with hope,
Eating the air on promise of supply,
Flatt’ring himself in project of a power
Much smaller than the smallest of his thoughts,
And so, with great imagination
Proper to madmen, led his powers to death
And, winking, leapt into destruction.
HASTINGS
But, by your leave, it never yet did hurt
To lay down likelihoods and forms of hope.

DUTCH:
Geheel, Inylord; hij voedde zich met hoop,
Met de’ ijdlen klank van toegezegden bijstand,
Zich vleiend met het droombeeld eener macht,
Die minder bleek zelfs dan zijn minste raming;

MORE:

Proverb:
Look before you leap

Schmidt:
To eat the air=To be deluded with hopes, living on nothing
Likelihood=Probability, chance
Project of=A chalking out, a forming in the mind, an idea
Wink=To shut the eyes or to have them shut so as not to see
Forms of hope=Hopeful plans

Compleat:
To line=To fortify, to strengthen
To wink=Door de vingeren zien
Likelyhood=Waarschynlykheid

Topics: hope/optimism, promise, imagination, madness

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 1
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Joan la Pucelle
CONTEXT:
Assign’d am I to be the English scourge.
This night the siege assuredly I’ll raise:
Expect Saint Martin’s summer, halcyon days,
Since I have entered into these wars.
Glory is like a circle in the water,
Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself
Till by broad spreading it disperse to nought.
With Henry’s death the English circle ends;
Dispersed are the glories it included.
Now am I like that proud insulting ship
Which Caesar and his fortune bare at once.

DUTCH:
Ik ben tot Englands geese! uitverkoren.
Nog deze nacht ontzet ik wis de stad;
Verwacht, nu ik den strijd aanvaard, een schoonen
Sint Maartenszomer, Halcyonendagen.

MORE:
Saint Martin’s summer=Equivalent of an ‘Indian summer’
Halcyon days=Unseasonable calm (so called because when it was calm in winter the kingfisher could build its nest)
Halcyon=Kingfisher
“Pround insulting ship” is a ref. to Plutarch, who wrote that Caesar told the captain of his ship no harm would befall him because he was carrying Caesar and therefore had Caesar’s ‘fortune’
Insulting=Triumphant

Compleat:
Halcyon (a sea-owl)=Een zekere Zee-vogel
Halcyon days=Een tijd van vrede en rust

Burgersdijk notes:
Sint Maartenszomer, Halcyonendagen. Halcyonendagen waren bij de ouden schoone, stormlooze dagen. Het schoone weder, op een storm volgend, wordt hier met een schoonen zomerschen dag in November, op Sint Maarten, vergeleken.

Ik ben nu als dat fiere schip, dat eens Tegader Caesar droeg en zijn geluk. Het verhaal, dat Caesar eens zijn bezorgden schipper toeriep: „Wees goedsmoeds, knaap, want gij hebt Cesar en zijn geluk aan boord”, vond Shakespeare in de vertaling van Plutarchus door North, een werk, dat zeker vlijtig door hem beoefend werd en dat hem aanleiding gaf tot de meeste geleerde toespelingen, waaraan dit stuk rijk is.

Topics: fate/destiny, achievement, hope/optimism, nature

PLAY: All’s Well that Ends Well
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Lafew
CONTEXT:
COUNTESS
What hope is there of his majesty’s amendment?
LAFEW
He hath abandoned his physicians, madam; under whose
practices he hath persecuted time with hope, and
finds no other advantage in the process but only the
losing of hope by time.
COUNTESS
This young gentlewoman had a father, —O, that
‘had’! how sad a passage ’tis! —whose skill was
almost as great as his honesty; had it stretched so
far, would have made nature immortal, and death
should have play for lack of work. Would, for the
king’s sake, he were living! I think it would be
the death of the king’s disease.

DUTCH:
Hij heeft aan zijne artsen hun afscheid gegeven, mevrouw, nadat hij onder hunne behandeling den tijd met hoop vervolgd had, en er op den duur geen ander voordeel van heeft, dan dat hij met den tijd de hoop verloor.

MORE:
Amendment=Recovery
Persecute=To afflict, to harass; not very intelligibly used.
Persecuted time with hope=Wasted his time hoping for a cure.
Passage=Punning on passing
Compleat:
Persecute=Lastig vallen; vervolgen.

Topics: hope/optimism, remedy, time, trust, life, death

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Queen
CONTEXT:
QUEEN
So, Green, thou art the midwife to my woe,
And Bolingbroke my sorrow’s dismal heir:
Now hath my soul brought forth her prodigy,
And I, a gasping new-deliver’d mother,
Have woe to woe, sorrow to sorrow join’d.
BUSHY
Despair not, madam.
QUEEN
Who shall hinder me?
I will despair, and be at enmity
With cozening hope: he is a flatterer,
A parasite, a keeper back of death,
Who gently would dissolve the bands of life,
Which false hope lingers in extremity.

DUTCH:
Wie kan ‘t verbieden?
Ik wil het doen, wil met bedriegend hopen
In vijandschap nu zijn, het is een vleier,
Een tafelschuimer, die den dood terughoudt,

MORE:

Schmidt:
Prodigy=Portent, ominous apparition
Cozening=Deceitful

Compleat:
Prodigy (omen, portent)=Voorbeduidsel
Cozening=Bedrieging, bedriegende

Topics: hope/optimism

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 1
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Hotspur
CONTEXT:
You strain too far.
I rather of his absence make this use:
It lends a luster and more great opinion,
A larger dare, to our great enterprise
Than if the Earl were here, for men must think
If we without his help can make a head
To push against a kingdom, with his help
We shall o’erturn it topsy-turvy down.
Yet all goes well, yet all our joints are whole.

DUTCH:
Gij gaat te ver;
Ik zie voor ons eer voordeel in zijn afzijn:
‘t Leent hoog’ren luister en een groot’ren roem
En meerdre koenheid aan ons groote werk,
Dan zoo de graaf hier was.

MORE:
Schmidt:
Strain=Effort of thought (as if by violent stretching of the mind); to extend, to stretch (you go too far in your apprehensions).
Lustre=Brightness, splendour
Dare=Boldness

Topics: plans/intentions, ambition, hope/optimism, reputation, perception

PLAY: All’s Well that Ends Well
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: Helen
CONTEXT:
HELEN
What I can do can do no hurt to try,
Since you set up your rest ‘gainst remedy.
He that of greatest works is finisher
Oft does them by the weakest minister:
So holy writ in babes hath judgment shown,
When judges have been babes; great floods have flown
From simple sources, and great seas have dried
When miracles have by the greatest been denied.
Oft expectation fails and most oft there
Where most it promises, and oft it hits
Where hope is coldest and despair most fits.

DUTCH:
Verwachting faalt niet zelden, ‘t meest, wanneer
Zij ‘t meest belooft; en vaak maakt ze alles goed,
Als hoop, verkild, voor wanhoop wijken moet.

MORE:
To fit=To be fitting, appropriate: “oft it hits where hope is coldest and despair most fits”
Hope is coldest=Most hopeless
Compleat:
To fit=Passen, pas maaken, gereed maaken, voegen
You must fit your humour to it=Gy moet ‘er uw humeur toe schikken

Topics: hope/optimism, ambition, promise

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Archbishop
CONTEXT:
They that, when Richard lived, would have him die
Are now become enamored on his grave.
Thou, that threw’st dust upon his goodly head
When through proud London he came sighing on
After th’ admired heels of Bolingbroke,
Criest now “O earth, yield us that King again,
And take thou this!” O thoughts of men accursed!
Past and to come seems best; things present, worst.

DUTCH:
Booze vloek, dat wij ‘t verleden
En ‘t morgen prijzen, ‘t heden staag vertreden!

MORE:

Accursed=Cursed, doomed to misery and destruction
Heels=Applied to persons attended or pursued by others

Topics: hope/optimism, ingratitude, value

PLAY: All’s Well that Ends Well
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: Helen
CONTEXT:
HELEN
What I can do can do no hurt to try,
Since you set up your rest ‘gainst remedy.
He that of greatest works is finisher
Oft does them by the weakest minister:
So holy writ in babes hath judgment shown,
When judges have been babes; great floods have flown
From simple sources, and great seas have dried
When miracles have by the greatest been denied.
Oft expectation fails and most oft there
Where most it promises, and oft it hits
Where hope is coldest and despair most fits.
KING
I must not hear thee; fare thee well, kind maid;
Thy pains not used must by thyself be paid:
Proffers not took reap thanks for their reward.

DUTCH:
Verloren moeite moet zichzelf betalen;
Slechts dank wordt voor versmaden dienst verkregen.

MORE:
To set up one’s rest=To have fully made up one’s mind, to be resolved, stake everything (taken from gambling, where the rest was a large sum wagered by a very confident player)
Flown=Flowed
Hits=Hits the mark

Topics: still in use, invented or popularised, achievement, hope/optimism

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 1
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Hotspur
CONTEXT:
O gentlemen, the time of life is short!
To spend that shortness basely were too long,
If life did ride upon a dial’s point,
Still ending at the arrival of an hour
An if we live, we live to tread on kings;
If die, brave death, when princes die with us.
Now, for our consciences, the arms are fair
When the intent of bearing them is just.

DUTCH:
De tijd van leven is kort: die korte tijd laag bij de gronds doorbrengen zou te lang zijn

MORE:
Dial’s point=Hand of a sun-dial
Tread on=Bring about the downfall of
Compleat:
Dial, sun-dial=Zonnewyzer.

Topics: life, nature, time, hope/optimism, conscience, merit, value

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 1
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: King
CONTEXT:
PRINCE HENRY
The southern wind
Doth play the trumpet to his purposes,
And by his hollow whistling in the leaves
Foretells a tempest and a blust’ring day.
KING
Then with the losers let it sympathize,
For nothing can seem foul to those that win.

DUTCH:
Zoo uite hij zijn leed aan wie ‘t verliezen,
Want aan wie winnen dunkt geen weder slecht.

MORE:
Play trumpet to=Announce, proclaim
Compleat:
To proclaim by sound of trumpet=Met trompetten geschal afkondigen.

Topics: life, nature, conflict, hope/optimism

PLAY: All’s Well that Ends Well
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: Helen
CONTEXT:
HELEN
What I can do can do no hurt to try,
Since you set up your rest ‘gainst remedy.
He that of greatest works is finisher
Oft does them by the weakest minister:
So holy writ in babes hath judgment shown,
When judges have been babes; great floods have flown
From simple sources, and great seas have dried
When miracles have by the greatest been denied.
Oft expectation fails and most oft there
Where most it promises, and oft it hits
Where hope is coldest and despair most fits.
KING
I must not hear thee; fare thee well, kind maid;
Thy pains not used must by thyself be paid:
Proffers not took reap thanks for their reward.

DUTCH:
Brengt wat ik kan, geen baat, het schaadt ook niet,
Daar ge elke hoop in u hebt uitgewied .

MORE:
To set up one’s rest=To have fully made up one’s mind, to be resolved, stake everything (taken from gambling, where the rest was a large sum wagered by a very confident player)
Flown=Flowed
Hits=Hits the mark

Topics: still in use, invented or popularised, achievement, hope/optimism

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 5.4
SPEAKER: Queen Margaret
CONTEXT:
Great lords, wise men ne’er sit and wail their loss,
But cheerly seek how to redress their harms.
What though the mast be now blown overboard,
The cable broke, the holding-anchor lost,
And half our sailors swallow’d in the flood?
Yet lives our pilot still. Is’t meet that he
Should leave the helm and like a fearful lad
With tearful eyes add water to the sea
And give more strength to that which hath too much,
Whiles, in his moan, the ship splits on the rock,
Which industry and courage might have saved?

DUTCH:
Geen wijze zit en jammert om verliezen;
Neen, moedig streeft hij naar ‘t herstel er van.

MORE:

Proverb: One must not bemoan (wail) a mischief but find out a remedy for it
Proverb: To cast water into the sea (Thames)

Wail=Bemoan
Cheerly=Cheerfully
Redress=Remedy
Meet=Appropriate
In his moan=While he laments

Compleat:
To bewail=Beweenen, beschreijen
Redress=Herstelling, verhelping, verbetering, vergoeding, verligting
Meet=Dienstig

Topics: adversity, proverbs and idioms, remedy, hope/optimism

PLAY: As You Like It
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Rosalind
CONTEXT:
ROSALIND
I do beseech your Grace,
Let me the knowledge of my fault bear with me.
If with myself I hold intelligence
Or have acquaintance with mine own desires,
If that I do not dream or be not frantic—
As I do trust I am not—then, dear uncle,
Never so much as in a thought unborn
Did I offend your Highness.
DUKE FREDERICK
Thus do all traitors.
If their purgation did consist in words,
They are as innocent as grace itself.
Let it suffice thee that I trust thee not.
ROSALIND
Yet your mistrust cannot make me a traitor.
Tell me whereon the likelihood depends.

DUTCH:
Kan mijn verraad uit uwen argwaan blijken?
Zeg mij ten minste, op welken schijn die rust.

MORE:
Schmidt:
Purgation=Clearing from imputation of guilt, exculpation. Used in theology (Purgatory and declaration of innocence oath) and as a legal term of proving of innocence.
Frantic=mad
Compleat:
Purgation (the clearing one’s self of a crime)=zuivering van een misdaad

Topics: hope/optimism, madness, offence, guilt

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