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Words

Tinker, Soldier, Broker, Bridegroom

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Most metaphors are obvious, as when Buckingham speaks of Cardinal Wolsey in Henry VIII:

This butcher’s cur is venomed-mouthed, and I
Have not the power to muzzle him; therefore best
Not wake him in his slumber.” 

But Shakespeare sometimes more subtly invoked metaphor through the selective choice of vocabulary. 
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What a Difference a Word Makes

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If Hamlet’s first words in the play, “A little more than kin and less than kind,” are an aside, as most editors indicate by prefacing the line with the stage direction, “aside,” then this line would be Hamlet’s first and shortest soliloquy. At the very least, it would be the first time any character in the play spoke directly to the audience,
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Lear: Act One Scene One

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King Lear’s first scene is notable in its length and structure. At over 300 lines, with more characters on stage than in all but the last scene of the play, and being divided into three sub-scenes, this first scene is almost a play in itself.

It begins, as do so many of Shakespeare’s plays,
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The crow may bathe his coal-black wings in mire

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“The crow may bathe his coal-black wings in mire
And unperceived fly with the filth away,
But if the like the snow-white swan desire,
The stain upon his silver down will stay.
Poor grooms are sightless night, kings glorious day.
Gnats are unnoted wheresoe’er they fly,
But eagles gazed upon with every eye.

This helpless smoke of words doth me no right

“Out,
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Source:
Line 1009

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As by your high imperial Majesty

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Suffolk
As by your high imperial Majesty
I had in charge at my depart for France,
As procurator to your Excellence,
To marry Princess Margaret for your Grace,
So, in the famous ancient city Tours,
In presence of the Kings of France and Sicil,
The Dukes of Orleance, Calaber, Britaigne, and Alanson,
Seven earls, twelve barons,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 1

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Goneril, Our eldest born, speak first

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King Lear
Goneril,
Our eldest born, speak first.
Goneril
Sir, I love you more than word can wield the matter,
Dearer than eyesight, space, and liberty,
Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare,
No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honor;
As much as child e’er loved, or father found;
A love that makes breath poor,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 58

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No, be assured you shall not find me, daughter,

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Queen
No, be assured you shall not find me, daughter,
After the slander of most stepmothers,
Evil-eyed unto you. You’re my prisoner, but
Your jailer shall deliver you the keys
That lock up your restraint.—For you, Posthumus,
So soon as I can win th’ offended king,
I will be known your advocate. Marry, yet
The fire of rage is in him,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 81

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Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace

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Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,
Profaners of this neighbor-stainèd steel—
Will they not hear?—What ho! You men, you beasts,
That quench the fire of your pernicious rage
With purple fountains issuing from your veins:
On pain of torture, from those bloody hands
Throw your mistempered weapons to the ground,
And hear the sentence of your movèd prince.

Three civil brawls bred of an airy word
By thee,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 83

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But is there no quick recreation granted?

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Berowne
But is there no quick recreation granted?
King
Ay, that there is. Our court, you know, is haunted
With a refinèd traveler of Spain,
A man in all the world’s new fashion planted,
That hath a mint of phrases in his brain;
One who the music of his own vain tongue
Doth ravish like enchanting harmony,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 165

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Now bind my brows with iron

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Northumberland
Now bind my brows with iron, and approach
The ragged’st hour that time and spite dare bring
To frown upon th’ enraged Northumberland.
Let heaven kiss Earth! Now let not Nature’s hand
Keep the wild flood confined. Let order die,
And let this world no longer be a stage
To feed contention in a lingering act;
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 166

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Thou, Nature, art my goddess

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Thou, Nature, art my goddess. To thy law
My services are bound. Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
The curiosity of nations to deprive me
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines
Lag of a brother? why “bastard”? Wherefore “base,”
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as generous and my shape as true
As honest madam’s issue?
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 2
Line 1

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Bonjour, Monsieur Le Beau. What’s the news?

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Celia
Bonjour, Monsieur Le Beau. What’s the news?
La Beau
Fair princess, you have lost much good sport.
Celia
Sport? Of what color?
La Beau
What color, madam? How shall I answer you?
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 2
Line 96

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Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world

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Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
To find ourselves dishonorable graves.Adynaton & Simile

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

Men at some time are masters of their fates;
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