By Michael Macrone
The San Francisco Chronicle referred to as this pleasing and informative advisor to the Bard's most famed and quotable expressions "delightful...a gem." From "salad days" to "strange bedfellows," the extraordinary legacy of William Shakespeare lives on in our daily vocabulary. each one access contains the unique that means of the note or expression, the play or poem during which apparently, which personality spoke it, and the way it truly is used this day. Cross-referenced for simple use; black-and-white line drawings via Tom Lulevitch.
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Brevity is the soul of wit" has become a standard English proverb; in the process, its context has been somewhat neglected. Polonius, though he has high opinions indeed of his "wit" (that is, acumen), is the least brief and one of the least "witty" characters in the play. Freud aptly referred to Polonius as "the old chatterbox" in Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious. BriefAuthority ISABELLA: Merciful heaven, Thou rather with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt Splits the unwedgeable and gnarled oak Than the soft myrtle; but man, proud man, Brush Up Your Shakespeare!
As Polonius begins to deliver to the king and queen the results of his investigation, he embarks on this windy preface. Besides being nonsensical, his speech is selfcontradictory: he wastes plenty of time denouncing the time wasted by rhetorical speechifying. "Brevity is the soul of wit" has become a standard English proverb; in the process, its context has been somewhat neglected. Polonius, though he has high opinions indeed of his "wit" (that is, acumen), is the least brief and one of the least "witty" characters in the play.
Exit] SLY: Third, or fourth, or fifth borough, I'll answer him by law. I'll not budge an inch, boy; let him come and kindly. [Falls asleep] THE TAMING OF THE SHREW Induction, scene 1 , 7 - 1 5 'Til not budge an inch" is the greatest contribution the tinker Christopher Sly has made to everyday English. A version of the phrase—"I'll not yield an inch"—had entered the language not long before the composition of The Taming of the Shrew, but Sly's particular spin has endured. The use of "budge" as a verb, meaning "stir, move," was also very new; the earliest example we have is from 1590, about three years before Shakespeare's play.
Brush Up Your Shakespeare! by Michael Macrone