Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Who said it? God or Shakespeare?

Instead of one quote today I offer 17 quotes. Your task is to decide the source for each - the Bible or Shakespeare?

1.) Neither a borrower nor a lender be.
2.) Eat, drink and be merry.
3.) Nothing but skin and bones.
4.) To thine own self be true.
5.) Practice what you preach.
6.) The apple of my eye.
7.) You have to be cruel to be kind.
8.) Wear your heart on your sleeve.
9.) The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.
10.) By the sweat of your brow
11.) How the mighty have fallen!
12.) Forgive and forget.
13.) You can’t have too much of a good thing.
14.) He’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
15.) Forever and a day.
16.) I escaped by the skin of my teeth.
17.) Like mother, like daughter.
Answers below.

Yesterday I mentioned things learned in High School like Cooking and Typing. But what high school student has not had to suffer Shakespeare; usually a different play each year: Romeo & Juliette, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Hamlet, etc. Why do we spend so much time on Shakespeare? A 20-year-old girl named Becky from London offers a clue. She posted a page from her notebook on Tumblr which got featured on the English Muse blog, and went viral....

Shakespeare not only wrote great stories that are performed 400 years later, but he had a flair for inventing phrases that remain popular and in common usage. Few English authors can make this claim. (See Erasmus of Rotterdam and John Heywood for two other profligate quote makes who are not as well known as they should be.)

Bottom Line


1.) Shakespeare. "Neither a borrower nor a lender be." Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 3.

2.) Bible. "Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry" Luke 12:19

3.) Bible. "All my intimate friends detest me; those I love have turned against me. I am nothing but skin and bones." Job 19:19-20

4.) Shakespeare. "This above all: to thine own self be true" Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 3.

5.) Bible. "They do not practice what they preach" Matthew 23:3

6.) Bible. "Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings" Psalm 17:8

7.) Shakespeare. "I must be cruel, only to be kind" Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 4.

8.) Shakespeare. "I will wear my heart upon my sleeve" Othello. Act i. Sc. 1.

9.) Bible. "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret." Matthew 6:3

10.) Bible. "By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return. Genesis 3:19

11.) Bible. "How the mighty have fallen!" 2 Samuel 1:19

12.) Shakespeare. "Pray you now, forget and forgive." King Lear, Act iv. Sc. 7

13.) Shakespeare. "Can one desire too much of a good thing?" As You Like It. Act iv. Sc. 1.

14.) Bible. Watch out for false prophets. "They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves." Matthew 7:15

15.) Shakespeare. "For ever and a day." As You Like It. Act iv. Sc. 1.

16.) Bible. "All my intimate friends detest me; those I love have turned against me. I am nothing but skin and bones; I have escaped with only the skin of my teeth." Job 19:19-20

17.) Bible. "'Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: 'Like mother, like daughter.' " Ezekiel 16:4

Heather at "HeresWhatsLeft" provided the answers and offers this conclusion:
"So, how did you do? Not so good? If it makes you feel any better, the King James version of the Bible came out about 7 years after Shakespeare died. So they're basically written in the same vernacular, meaning that for phrases with words like "thine" it can be easy to get confused."

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