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Deceit

Pandering, Contempt and the Masses

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Many of Shakespeare’s plays deal with political intrigue at court between political leaders. However, in Julius Caesar and Coriolanus, more than in other plays, the themes address the relationships between political leaders and the masses. Since both plays are set in historic Rome and not in Shakespeare’s England, they can deal with the themes of democracy and the wisdom of the populace to govern themselves through a republican form of representation.
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Richard III and the Sonnet

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“Now is the winter of our discontent” is nearly as familiar as Hamlet’s, “To be, or not to be” and Mark Antony’s, “Friends, Romans, countrymen”. Not one of these three passages is a dramatic dialogue. Mark Antony addresses a large Roman crowd in an extended speech. Hamlet muses to himself in a soliloquy while we the audience listen in. Richard, however,
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Appearance and Deception

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A recurring theme in many of Shakespeare’s plays, and central to Much Ado About Nothing, explores how easily people are deceived not just by the false testimony of others but even by their own senses. Claudio, believing he was deceived by Don John, learned to place no trust in the words of others. With “Let every eye negotiate for itself,”
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Keeping Adultery Hidden

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Whether in comedy or tragedy, Shakespeare’s characters advise the prudence of spouses, whether husbands or wives, of keeping their dalliances hidden. Luciana advises the man she thinks is her brother-in-law in Comedy of Errors to tell his wife, Luciano’s sister, nothing. Iago’s observation about the adulteries of Venetian women in Othello, is similar.
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Now is the winter of our discontent

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NowHyperbaton is the winter of our discontentMetaphor
Made glorious summerMetaphor by this son of York,Paronomasia
And all the clouds that louredMetaphor upon our houseMetonymy
In the deep bosom of the ocean MetaphorburiedHyperbaton & Ellipsis.
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O Dissembling courtesy!

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Imogen
O,
Dissembling courtesy! How fine this tyrant
Can tickle where she wounds! My dearest husband,
I something fear my father’s wrath, but nothing—
Always reserved my holy duty—what
His rage can do on me. You must be gone,
And I shall here abide the hourly shot
Of angry eyes, not comforted to live
But that there is this jewel in the world
That I may see again.  
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 97

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Edmund, how now? What news?

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Gloucester
Edmund, how now? What news?
Edmund
So please your Lordship, none.
He puts a paper in his pocket.
Gloucester
Why so earnestly seek you to put up that letter?
Edmund
I know no news, my lord.
Gloucester
What paper were you reading?
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 2
Line 27

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Brother, I advise you to the best

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Edmund
Brother, I advise you to the best. I am no
honest man if there be any good meaning toward
you. I have told you what I have seen and heard, but
faintly, nothing like the image and horror of it. Pray
you, away.
Edgar
Shall I hear from you anon?
Edmund
I do serve you in this business.
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 2
Line 180

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What is the gross sum that I owe thee?

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Falstaff
What is the gross sum that I owe thee?
Hostess
Marry, if thou wert an honest man, thyself
and the money too. Thou didst swear to me upon a
parcel-gilt goblet, sitting in my Dolphin chamber at
the round table by a sea-coal fire, upon Wednesday
in Wheeson week, when the Prince broke thy head
for liking his father to a singing-man of Windsor,
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 87

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Let me question more in particular

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Hamlet
Let me question more in particular. What
have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of
Fortune that she sends you to prison hither?
Guildenstern
Prison, my lord?
Hamlet
Denmark’s a prison.
Rosencrantz
Then is the world one.
Hamlet
A goodly one,
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 2
Line 258

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I can call spirits from the vasty deep

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Owen Glendower
I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Hotspur
Why, so can I, or so can any man,
But will they come when you do call for them?
Owen Glendower
Why, I can teach you, cousin, to command the devil.
Hotspur
And I can teach thee, coz, to shame the devil
By telling truth: tell truth and shame the devil.
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Source:
Act 3
Scene 1
Line 55

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Connected Notes:
You and Thee

Repent what you have spoke

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Menenius
Repent what you have spoke.
Coriolanus
For them? I cannot do it to the gods.
Must I then do ’t to them?
Volumnia
You are too absolute,
Though therein you can never be too noble
But when extremities speak. I have heard you say
Honor and policy, like unsevered friends,
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Source:
Act 3
Scene 2
Line 48

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Come, cousin, canst thou quake and change thy color

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Richard
Come, cousin, canst thou quake and change thy color,
Murder thy breath in middle of a word,
And then again begin, and stop again,
As if thou were distraught and mad with terror?
Buckingham
Tut, I can counterfeit the deep tragedian,
Speak, and look back, and pry on every side,
Tremble and start at wagging of a straw,
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Source:
Act 3
Scene 5
Line 1

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I will not speak with her

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Queen Gertrude
I will not speak with her.
Gentleman
She is importunate,
Indeed distract; her mood will needs be pitied.
Queen Gertrude
What would she have?

So full of artless jealousy is guilt,
It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.

Gentleman
She speaks much of her father,
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Source:
Act 4
Scene 5
Line 1

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