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Flashcards in English112Quotes Deck (22):

Fear? What should a man fear? It’s all chance, chance rules our lives. Not a man on earth can see a day ahead, groping through the dark. Better to live at random, best we can. And as for this marriage with your mother—have no fear. Many a man before you, in his dreams, has shared his mother’s bed. Take such things for shadows, nothing at all— Live, Oedipus, as if there’s no tomorrow!

Play: Oedipus The King
Speaker: Jocasta to Oedipus
Setting: Takes place right after you learn of Oedipus' fathers death
Significance: She is telling him not to worry about about the future by reassuring him that the prophecy is not true. She only seems to believe in prophets when it suits her (a certain sense of wishful thinking). She wants to comfort him and keep him from becoming paranoid.
She also makes light of incest which is ironic considering she does not realize that he is her son. Because the audience of the time would have realized this there is a sort of dramatic irony. There is also some cosmic irony because it is fated that she and her son will sleep in the same bed.


People of Thebes, my countrymen, look on Oedipus. He solved the famous riddle with his brilliance, he rose to power, a man beyond all power. Who could behold his greatness without envy? Now what a black sea of terror has overwhelmed him. Now as we keep our watch and wait the final day, count no man happy till he dies, free of pain at last.

Play: Oedipus The King
Speaker: Chorus
Setting: At the end of the play when Oedipus has discovered his fate.
Significance: The chorus is warning the people of Thebes that they should not envy those who are above them because you never know when something bad will happen. The chorus points out that Oedipus fell because he rose too high. They say that in the end the truth destroys oedipus.


My Children, I pity you. I see—how could I fail to see what longing brings you here? Well I know you are sick to death, all of you, but sick as you are, not one is as sick as I.

Play: Oedipus the King
Speaker: Oedipus to his people
Setting: At the beginning of the play when everyone is suffering and they have come to ask Oedipus to help them.
Significance: Oedipus is telling his followers that although they suffer he suffers more because he must bear the suffering of the entire kingdom. Later on he makes a statement which contradicts this because he says that most of his suffering comes from his own self-interest. He is worried that if someone wanted to kill the old king maybe they will want to kill him as well. He is both a tragic and heroic character. He wants to do what is best for Thebes but focuses too much on fate and truth which is what gets him in the end.


Awake to awareness, the world’s but a dream, awake to awareness, the world’s but a dream, one may cast aside—is this what is Real?

Play: Atsumori
Speaker: Waki (Rensho) to himself and the chorus responds
Setting: Beginning of the play when Waki is contemplating his decision to kill Atsumori.
Significance: He is questioning what is real and seeking atonement for himself.


Yet those high up inflict pain on people down below; those living lives of luxury are unaware of arrogance.

Play: Atsumori
Speaker: The Shite
Setting: Talking to the audience, giving them guidance
Significance: Those living in luxury are not always aware of their arrogance. People should not envy their superiors or inferiors. You may lose your position in your next life and those who suffer will be rewarded for it.


"That it should come to this!"

Play: Hamlet
Speaker: Hamlet
Setting: After the king has died and Claudius has announced his marriage to hamlet's mother, part of his first soliloquey
Significance: Hamlet is outraged by this arrangement. He calls in incestuous. Marks the beginning of Hamlet spiralling out of control. Shows his deep melancholy.


Frality, they name is woman!

Play: Hamlet
Speaker: Hamlet
Significance: Hamlet feels his mother is weak and that is why she isn't mourning his father for long enough.


Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

Play: Hamlet
Speaker: Polonius
Setting: Polonius is giving Laeretes advice before he returns to Paris
Significance: He is telling him not to borrow money because that will make him seem as though he lives beyond his means and not to lend money because people cannot be trusted to pay him back.


This above all: to thine own self be true.

Play: Hamlet
Speaker: Polonius
Situation: Still giving Laeretes advice
Significance: He is telling Laeretes to be true to himself and to be a gentleman. Neither character follows this advice and both die because of it.


Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Play: Hamlet
Speaker: Marcellus to Horatio
Setting: hamlet has just gone off to talk to the ghost of his dead father so H&M must follow
Significance: Pointing out that something evil is afoot. Could foreshadow the deaths of the characters.


Though this be madness, yet there is method in't.

Play: Hamlet
Speaker: Polonius interacting with hamlet, but quote spoken to audience
Significance: Polnius is pointing out that even though Hamlete is acting crazy there is some sense behind it. This is ironic because Polonius thinks it is due to the love for his daughter. He is correct about there being reason, just not about what that reason is. Hamlet is purposely acting this way to mask his motives.


To be, or not to be: that is the question.

Play: Hamlet
Speaker: Hamlet
Setting: A sililoquey
Significance: Contemplating whether it is better to die or be alive. Being aliave is terrible but what if death is worse? Death could be nothingness and perhaps that is better than life but who knows? He also contemplates if suicide is noble. It is meditative where he is pondering suicide.


The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

Play: Hamlet
Speaker: Gertrude
Setting: Watching a play
Significance: She thinks that the queen in the play is insincere because she dramatically says she'll never remarry. The queen in the play does remarry and it is unclear as to whether or not she draws parallels to her own life.


O that this too too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!

Play: Hamlet
Speaker: Hamlet
Setting: Soliloquey
Significance: Hamlet is once again thinking about suicide. HE is upset because his father is dead, his mother is remarrying his uncle, and they do not want him to go back to Wittenberg to continue his studies. He is upset about the haste of their marriage.


I have of late,—but wherefore I know not,—lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire,—why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.

Play: Hamlet
Speaker: Hamlet to R&G
Situation: R&G have come to talk to him to get info
Significance: Hamlet is explaining his melancholy. Saying that humans are glorified when really they are merely dust. He fins himself more prone to apprehension than to action (indecisive) which is why he takes to long to kill claudius.


That which all the world does, as I am told: be as mad as/ the rest and take all innocent freedoms. Sister, you'll go too,/ will you not? Come, prithee be not sad. We'll outwit twenty/ brothers if you'll be ruled by me. Come, put off this dull/ humor with your clothes, and assume one as gay and as/ fantastic as the dress my cousin Valeria and I have provided,/ and let's ramble.

Play: The Rover
Speaker: Hellena responding to Callis
Setting: After her brother has decided she cannot go to the carnival and that she must be locked up
Significance: She has a strong desire to be free and independent. She does not feel that her brother (pedro) or her father should be allowed to make these decisions for her. This quote shoes that she is taking control of her own life.


Pray tell me,/sir, are not you guilty of the same mercenary crime? When/ a lady is proposed to you for a wife, you never ask how fair,/discreet, or virtuous she is, but what's her fortune; which,/if but small, you cry "She will not do my business," and/ basely leave her, though she languish for you. Say, is not/ this as poor?

Play: The Rover
Speaker: Angellica to Willmore
Setting: Willmore and Angellica are alone in her chamber and Willmore is trying to seduce her
Significance: Angellica is pointing out the inequalities that women face in society. It is assumed that because she is a prostitute she is not virtuous. She is also pointing out that women are often commodified by the patriarchal society that they live in. She is saying that people use women based on their fortune to gain upward mobility in society. Since this is the case she is asking him what the difference is between her selling prostitution and marriage. They both exchange love/lust for money.


Tis very hard, the whole cargo or nothing. Faith, madam,/my stock will not reach it; I cannot be your chapman. Yet/I have countrymen in town, merchants of love like me; I'll/see if they'll put in for a share. We cannot lose much by it,/and what we have no use for, we'll sell upon the Friday's/mart at "Who gives more"-- I am studying, madam, how/to purchase you, though at present I am unprovided of/money.

Play: The Rover
Speaker: Willmore to Angellica
Setting: Willmroe is trying to seduce Angellica/ purchase her for a shorter amount of time or less money
Significance: Willmore is trying to get her for a shorter amoung of time. He questions why she must sell herself for a monthly rate and why she cannot be shared amongst the month between multiple men. This attitude commodifies her services because it suggests that you can just split her up between many and does not respect her original intentions. She is setting her parameters to maintain a sense of power and he is trying to convince her to change them. He want her to potentially sell herself in some sort of time share which reduces her value and objectifies her.


Like me? I don’t intend every he that like me shall have/ me, but he that I like. I should have stayed in the nunnery/ still if I had liked my lady abbess as well as she liked me. No,/I cam thence not, as my wise brother imagines, to take an/eternal farewell of the world, but to love and to be beloved;/and I will be beloved, or I’ll get one of your men, so I will.

Play: The Rover
Speaker: Hellena speakig to her sister
Setting: Her sister has just suggested that a man would 'have her' if she continued to act in this way
Significance: Hellena is trying to reclaim her life and take control. She does not want her brother/father making her decisions for her and she does want to have an opportunity for love. She is reasserting her independence to her sister (Florinda). She wants a man of her choosing and not just anyone who will take her. She is asserting her own agency.


Well said. –You hear, little one, how you are condemned/ by public vote to the bed within; there’s no resisting your/ destiny, sweetheart.

Play: The Rover
Speaker: Blunt to Florinda
Setting: He wants to rape and beat her because he is angry at all women since he was tricked by Lucetta. He has also convinced Fredrick to help him rape her...
Significance: Once again her 'destiny' is being determined by the males in the play. She does not have agency and the men disempower her by making her decisions for her.Fredrick doesn't mind helping blunt rape her until she is humanized (by hi discovering her relation with Belvile). This shows how objectified women are during this time period.


I have command from my father here to tell you you ought/ not to despise him, a man of so vast a fortune, and such a/passion for you.

Play: The Rover
Speaker: Pedro speaking to his sisters, mainly florinda but also hellena
Setting: He is telling florinda that she should marry Vincentio and not speak badly of a man of his wealth
Significance: shows that gender and class are factors in gaining power. Florinda's father has the most power because he is the wealthiest. He exercises his power by determining her future and raise his own wealth (and therefore his own power). He uses her as a pawn to gain resources. Pedro also has more power but not as much as his father. In this scene he is essentially delivering the message that his father believes to be true. This is representative of society in that the most powerful people set the conditions of the society and use other members of society as pawns to enforce these 'terms' or 'rules' for society. In this way power is exercised in a hierarchy.


Is't not enough you make/ a nun of me, but you must cast my sister away too, exposing/ her to a worse confinement than a religious life?

Play: The Rover
Speaker: Hellena to pedro
Setting: Hellena is speaking with he siblings about Florinda's arranged marriage to Vincentio
Significance: Hellena is saying that it is worse to be controlled into marrying someone whom you despise then to being controlled to live a religious life where she cannot ever speak of or enjoy love. Both these things are not favourable and control women. She is saying that Vicentio's money does not increase how attractive he is. She is trying to stand up for her sister who does not seem to be as assertive in standing up for herself. This quote directly criticizes religion and the constitution of arranged marriage.