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Shakespeare’s Words Of Love

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William Shakespeare is universally acknowledged as the greatest writer in the history of the English language.

As the author of many of the most popular and beloved plays ever written, Shakespeare has been immortalized as a monumental genius who was able to portray the terrors and joys of life with a skill that remains unequaled to this day.

Shakespeare covered a wide variety of themes and topics in his work. He wrote brooding tragedies that include Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Othello and Hamlet. He amused audiences across the centuries with lighthearted comedies including The Merchant Of Venice, A Midsummer Night Dream, Much Ado About Nothing and The Taming Of The Shrew. He paid tribute to women and the charms of femininity in his sonnets and he also wrote many powerful verses about the quest to find meaning in human existence.

At the heart of Shakespeare’s genius was his ability to understand our deepest emotions. He spoke of our mortality in the starkest of terms and advised us to make our own destiny or be left in the dust. Shakespeare’s depiction of man’s fate in Macbeth Act 5, Scene 5 is one of the most profound statements on the finality of death ever set to verse.

Macbeth faces his final battle, betrayed by many of his former friends who have gone over to the enemy. As he awaits the slaughter, confident that he can survive a siege of his well fortified castle, he hears a woman’s scream and a servant rushes in to announce the death of Lady Macbeth. Suddenly, Macbeth acknowledges the futility of his actions and speaks these famous words:

She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.

Although Shakespeare often wrote about the horrors of war and the vain pursuit of power, he also devoted many lines to the emotion of love and the beauty of women. He was able to praise the pure heart and ridicule the immodest, faithless lover with equal skill. What could be more fun than to read a few of Shakespeare’s famous quotes on the subject of love and rediscover the heart of the Bard’s passion.

1. From The Twelfth Night, Act 1, Scene 1: “If music be the food of love, play on.”

2. From Much Ado About Nothing, Act 3, Scene 2: “Love goes by haps; Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.”

3. From Henry VI Part 1, Act 5, Scene 2: “Sheís beautiful, and therefore to be wooed; She is woman, and therefore to be won.”

4. From Romeo & Juliet, Act 1, Scene 1: “Love is a smoke and is made with the fume of sighs.”

5. From Twelfth night, Act 3, Scene 1: “Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.”

6. From A Midsummer Nightís Dream, Act 3, Scene 3: “Cupid is a knavish lad, thus to make females mad.”

7. From Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2: “Doubt that the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move his aides, Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love.”

8. From The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act 1, Scene 3: “Oh, how this spring of love resembleth, The uncertain glory of an April day, Which now shows all beauty of the Sun, And by and by a cloud takes all away.”

9. From Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 3: “A heart to love, and in that heart, Courage, to makeís love known.”

10. From Romeo & Juliet, Act 2, Scene 6: “Come what sorrow can, It cannot countervail the exchange of joy, That one short minute gives me in her sight.”

The Never Ending Search For The Meaning Of Love

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Dictionary definition of LOVE

1
a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties <maternal love for a child> (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers (3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests <love for his old schoolmates>
b : an assurance of affection <give her my love>

2
: warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion <love of the sea>
3

a : the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration <baseball was his first love>
b (1) : a beloved person : darling óoften used as a term of endearment (2) British óused as an informal term of address

4
a : unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: as (1) : the fatherly concern of God for humankind (2) : brotherly concern for others
b : a person’s adoration of God

While the Webster’s Dictionary makes a valiant attempt to define love, their effort is rather clinical and hardly does the emotion justice. There are many forms of affection, but most human beings are concerned with romantic love.

We are all subject to the basic need to satisfy our biological impulses, but what truly sets humanity apart from the vast majority of life on earth is our need for the companionship of another person and the deep emotional attachment that often develops between two individuals. Unlike most animals, we seek a mate not just to reproduce the species, but to fullfil our innermost need to share our thoughts, hopes and dreams with another human being.

Many great writers, poets and philosophers have discussed and debated our need for companionship and romance. Talented artists have depicted human tenderness in their paintings and sculptures and accomplished musicians have dedicated songs and symphonies to the emotion. Humanity is engaged in a never ending search for the meaning of love.

Every once in a while someone comes up with a truly wonderful quote on the subject and we thought it would be helpful to explore a few of them with you, the reader. Join us now for another round of famous love quotes and may you find the companion of your dreams.

1. “Love is that splendid triggering of human vitality the supreme activity which nature affords anyone for going out of himself toward someone else.”

JosÈ Ortega y Gasset was a Spanish liberal philosopher and essayist working during the first half of the 20th century while Spain fluctuated between the Monarchy, Republicanism and Franco’s Fascist dictatorship.

2. “Love possesses not nor will it be possessed, for love is sufficient unto love.”

Kahlil Gibran was a Lebanese-American artist, poet, and writer. Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu. His best known book, The Prophet, is in its 163rd printing and has sold over 100 million copies.

3. “Sympathy constitutes friendship; but in love there is a sort of antipathy, or opposing passion. Each strives to be the other, and both together make up one whole.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England. He wrote the poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, as well as the major prose work Biographia Literaria.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is the source of one of the most famous dramatic couplets in the history of poetry. The poem itself is about mankind’s love and hate relationship with the sea:

“Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.”

4. “We are all born for love. It is the principle of existence, and its only end.”

Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, KG, PC, FRS, was a British Prime Minister, parliamentarian, Conservative statesman and literary figure. He served in government for forty years, twice as Prime Minister of Great Britain.

5. “The truth is that there is only one terminal dignity – love. And the story of a love is not important – what is important is that one is capable of love. It is perhaps the only glimpse we are permitted of eternity.”

Helen Hayes was an American actress whose career spanned almost 70 years. Revered by millions as the “First Lady of the American Theater,” she was one of eleven people who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award.