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False Fronts

Richard, Romeo, Juliet and the Sonnet

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Two of Shakespeare’s earliest playsRichard III and Romeo and Juliet, open with sonnets and then employ variations on the sonnet’s structure for dramatic and poetic effect, which is not surprising. At this point in Shakespeare’s life he seems to have had dual career goals. First, he wanted to make money, which he could accomplish through theatre.
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Iago and Ulysses on Order and Degree

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Ulysses and Iago express similar themes about order and degree. Iago speaks more specifically about seniority versus affections and recommendations.
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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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In comedy or tragedy, Shakespeare’s characters advise the prudence of spouses keeping their dalliances hidden. In Comedy of Errors, Luciana advises Antipholus of Syracuse, who she thinks is her brother-in-lawto conceal from his presumed wife Adriana, Luciana’s sister, his apparent infidelity. Iago’s observation about the adulteries of Venetian women in Othello, is similar.
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I learn in this letter that Don Pedro of Aragon comes this night to Messina

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Leonato, with a letter
I learn in this letter that Don
Pedro of Aragon comes this night to Messina.
Messenger
He is very near by this. He was not three
leagues off when I left him.

He hath borne himself beyond the promise of his age,
doing in the figure of a lamb the feats of a lion.
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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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Tush, never tell me! I take it much unkindly

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Roderigo
Tush, never tell me! I take it much unkindly
That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse
As if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this.
Iago
’Sblood, but you’ll not hear me!
If ever I did dream of such a matter,
Abhor me.
Roderigo
Thou toldst me thou didst hold him in thy hate.
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Troy, yet upon his basis, had been down

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Troy, yet upon his basis, had been down,
And the great Hector’s sword had lacked a masterMetonymy
But for these instances:
The specialty of rule hath been neglected,
And look how many Grecian tents do stand
Hollow upon this plain, so many hollow factions.
When that the general is not like the hive
To whom the foragers shall all repair,

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Source:
Act 1
Scene 3
Line 79

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Themes:
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Figures of Speech:
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Connected Notes:
Iago and Ulysses on Order and Degree

Adieu, adieu, adieu. Remember me

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Ghost
Adieu, adieu, adieu.Epizeuxis Remember me.
 He exits.
Hamlet
O all you host of heaven! O Earth!Anapodotons & Apostrophes What else?
And shall I couple hell?Pysma
O fie! Hold, hold, my heart,
And you, my sinews, grow not instant old,

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Ophelia, walk you here

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Polonius
Ophelia, walk you here.—Gracious, so please you,
We will bestow ourselves.  To Ophelia.  Read on this book,
That show of such an exercise may color
Your loneliness. —We are oft to blame in this
(’Tis too much proved), that with devotion’s visage
And pious action we do sugar o’er
The devil himself.

’Tis too much proved,
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Source:
Act 3
Scene 1
Line 48

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Themes:
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O serpent heart, hid with a flow’ring face!

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O serpent heart, hid with a flow’ring face!Paradox
Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?Metaphor
Beautiful tyrant!Oxymoron Fiend angelical!Oxymoron
Dove-feather’d raven!Oxymoron Wolvish ravening lamb!Oxymoron

Was ever book containing such vile matter
So fairly bound?
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Source:
Act 3
Scene 2
Line 79

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Connected Notes:
Caves, Temples & Palaces, Unhappy Fortune! The Plague in the Plays

My gracious lord, Henry, your foe, is taken

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Nobleman
My gracious lord, Henry, your foe, is taken
And brought your prisoner to your palace gate.
King Edward
See that he be conveyed unto the Tower.
Nobleman exits.
And go we, brothers, to the man that took him,
To question of his apprehension.—
Widow, go you along.—Lords, use her honorably.
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Source:
Act 3
Scene 2
Line 120

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Ay, Edward will use women honorably!

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Ay, Edward will use women honorably!
Would he were wasted—marrow, bones, and all—
That from his loins no hopeful branch may spring
To cross me from the golden time I look for.
And yet, between my soul’s desire and me,
The lustful Edward’s title burièd,
Is Clarence, Henry, and his son, young Edward,
And all the unlooked-for issue of their bodies
To take their rooms ere I can place myself.
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Source:
Act 3
Scene 2
Line 126

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In Venice they do let God see the pranks

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In Venice they do let God see the pranks
They dare not show their husbands; their best conscience
Is not to leave’t undone, but keep’t unknown.
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Source:
Act 3
Scene 3

Source Type:

Spoken by:

Themes:
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Connected Notes:
Keeping Adultery Hidden