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“Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” and all the Books by Dr. Seuss

Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss), seated at desk covered with his books  When the First Lady, Michelle Obama in 2010 chose Dr. Seuss book, The Cat in the Hat, …

“Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” and all the Books by Dr. Seuss
Art · Inspiration · Inspirational Art · ISO · Photography · Photography Blog · Playwright · Quotes · Susan Sontag

A Photograph is not an Opinion. Or is it? Top Quotes of Susan Sontag

The quotes from the book “ Photographs by Annie Leibovitz ; Essay by Susan Sontag ” is a fascinating book of pictures of people who have nothing in …

A Photograph is not an Opinion. Or is it? Top Quotes of Susan Sontag
Blog · English Literature · Julius Caesar · Playwright · Quotes · Shakespear

“To be, or not to be, that is the question” Quoting William Shakespeare

“ All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,”

Excerpt From: Jonathan Bate. “Soul of the Age”.

We all know the great playwright, however I have often wondered, who was the man behind some of the best works in English Literature.

“He was not of an age, but for all time!” So wrote Ben Jonson in the poem of praise published in the First Folio of collected plays. Was Shakespeare a life that lasted from 1564 to 1616 or was he also a sum total of all the body of words, ideas, characters and stage images that has remained alive for four centuries because of their endless capacity for renewal and adaptation through the work of succeeding generations of actors and spectators, appreciative readers, and creative artists in every conceivable medium.

Said Ralph Waldo Emerson, writing in nineteenth-century New England, Shakespeare was “inconceivably wise,” possessed of a brain so uniquely vast that no one can penetrate it. But at the same time, he was the incarnation of “a cause, a country, and an age.” It is this double quality that makes Shakespeare, in Emerson’s fine phrase, the representative poet.

A normal chronological sequence of his life may not only be depressingly reductive, it’s an information which is available on the net, which you, my readers can easily access. This is aptly put by George Bernard Shaw, a playwright and a critic — and a particularly acerbic critic of Shakespeare, discerned in the life when it is told in the traditional way:

“Everything we know about Shakespeare can be got into a half-hour sketch. He was a very civil gentleman who got round men of all classes; he was extremely susceptible to word-music and to graces of speech; he picked up all sorts of odds and ends from books and from the street talk of his day and welded them into his work … Add to this that he was, like all highly intelligent and conscientious people, business-like about money and appreciative of the value of respectability and the discomfort and discredit of Bohemianism; also that he stood on his social position and desired to have it affirmed by the grant of a coat of arms, and you have all we know of Shakespeare beyond what we gather from his plays.”

Image courtesy: The Telegraph

My tryst with Shakespear came at an early age when Shakespear’s plays were a part of our school curriculum. Julius Caesar was the first and a book which is embedded in my memory like a fossil in amber.

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 dishonourable graves.

Cassius (Act I, Scene II)

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” 

Cassius (Act I, Scene III)

“Cowards die many times before their deaths; 

The valiant never taste of death but once. 

Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, 

It seems to me most strange that men should fear; 

Seeing that death, a necessary end, 

Will come when it will come.” 

Caesar (Act II, Scene II)

“Men at some time are masters of their fates. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” 

Cassius (Act I, Scene II)

But I am constant as the Northern Star,

Of whose true fixed and resting quality

There is no fellow in the firmament.

Ceasar (Act 3, Scene 1)

As he was valiant, I honor him. But as he was ambitious, I slew him.

Brutus (Act 3, Scene 2)

“There is a tide in the affairs of men

Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;

Omitted, all the voyage of their life

Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

On such a full sea are we now afloat;

And we must take the current when it serves,

Or lose our ventures.” 

Brutus (Act 4, Scene 3)

Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more.

Brutus (Act 3 Scene 2)

“His life was gentle; and the elements

So mixed in him, that Nature might stand up

And say to all the world, THIS WAS A MAN!” 

Mark Anthony (Act 5, Scene 5)

“Let me have men around me who art fat sleek headed men, and such as sleep a nights. Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look. He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous.”

Julius Caesar (Act1, Scene 2)

“When beggars die there are no comets seen; the heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.”

Calpurnia (Act 2, Scene 2)

I could go on … …

“Barbara Everett writes in an acute essay on the problem of Shakespearean life-writing, “If his biography is to be found it has to be here, in the plays and poems, but never literally and never provably.”

I would like to know, some of your favourite quotes from Julius Caesar. Pease do share in the comments below.

Book Blog · Oscar Wilde · Quotes

Quoting Oscar Wilde

Image courtesy HistoryNet

“The best way to make children good is to make them happy.”

Oscar Wilde

I followed his advise. I got my daughter an ebook: ‘The Canterville Ghost, The Happy Prince and Other Stories.’ It worked like a charm, like it has for generations. Witty, inspiring and charismatic. Oscar Wilde is one of the greatest of English Literature. Today, his plays and stories are beloved around the world.But it was not always so. His afterlife has given him the legitimacy that life denied him.

A Bit of History

Wilde was one of London’s most popular playwrights in the early 1890’s. Wilde is still as popular as ever today amongst academics and students alike. Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin in 1854, the son of an eminent eye~surgeon and a nationalist poetess who wrote under the pseudonym of ‘Speranza’. He went to Trinity College , Dublin and despite winning a first prize for poetry, Wilde failed to obtain an Oxford fellowship, and was forced to earn a living by lecturing and writing for periodicals. After his marriage to Constance Lloyd in 1884, he tried to establish himself as a writer, but with little initial success.

However, his three volume of short fiction, The Happy Prince, Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime and A House of Pomegranates, together with his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Grey, gradually won him a reputation as a modern writer with an original talent, a reputation confirmed and enhanced by the phenomenal success of his Society Comedies ~ Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and the Importance of Being Earnest, all performed on the West End stage between 1892 and 1895.

And now quoting Mr. Wilde

“A man’s face is his autobiography. A woman’s face is her work of fiction.”

 “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.”

“Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.”

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”

“When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers.”

“Romance should never begin with sentiment. It should begin with science and end with a settlement.”

“There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves we feel no one else has a right to blame us.”

 “Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious; both are disappointed.”

“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”

“One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never marry.”

 “The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.”

 “The one charm about marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties.”

“Pessimist: One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both.”

“It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.”

 “A poet can survive everything but a misprint.”

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”

“I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.”

“The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything.”

“No woman should ever be quite accurate about her age. It looks so calculating.”

“One can survive everything, nowadays, except death, and live down everything except a good reputation.”

“I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.

The public has an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.


Success, however, was shot lived. In 1891 Wilde had met and fallen in love with Lord Alfred Douglas. In 1895, with his success as a dramatist was at its hight, Wilde brought an unsuccessful libel action against Douglas’s father, and lost the case and two trials later was sentenced to two year imprisonment for acts of gross indecency. As a result of this experience he wrote The Ballard of Reading Goal. he was released from prison in 1897 and went into an immediate self ~ imposed exile. He died in Paris in ignominy in 1900.