Friday, 11 May 2012

Weekend Quote #1

My first Weekend Quote post!
“Repent but you that you shall lose your friend,
And he repents not that he pays your debt;
For if the Jew do cut but deep enough,
I'll pay it instantly with all my heart.”
- Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare
I was thinking about another good quote on a public transportation when these words popped into my mind. The quote is from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, one of the earliest Shakespeares' I read.

Antonio played by Jeremy Irons in the
film Merchant of Venice (2004)
To give a clearer view of the context, the quote is a part of Antonio's dialogue when he was tried before the Duke of Venice. He was tried because he owed a certain sum of money for the sake of his friend, Bassanio. His opponent, a Jew named Shylock, demanded a pound of his flesh taken from his breast. When the judge said that Shylock had the right to get what he demanded, Antonio said these words.

The words touch me deeply. Firstly he said that he did not begrudge Bassanio the punishment, and that the only thing Bassanio should feel sorry about is that he “would lose a friend” by the death of Antonio. But what really touching is the next phrase: “ For if the Jew do cut but deep enough, I'll pay it instantly with all my heart.

What a wonderful expression! He plays upon the word “heart” literally and figuratively. Of course he thought that he would pay it with his literal heart, since the pound of flesh would be taken from his chest. But by saying “with all my heart” he emphasised again his sincerity in paying Bassanio's debt.

Any quote that you like (or hate) the most? Would you like to share? Please join the Weekend Quote


  1. What a great writer! His use of 'heart' was perfect. Nice to meet a new blogger!

    1. That's true. Word-play is his expertise after all. He also played the word "heart" in Julius Caesar.

      "O world, thou wast the forest to this hart. And this indeed, O world, the heart of thee."

      This person was indeed a genius.

  2. made me want to read this book also! *sigh* so many great books, yet so little time..
    From all Shakespeare that your read, which one is highly recommended? From tragedy or history, I mean. I don't quite like comedy.

    1. Hmmm, because you don't want to read comedies..

      If you want something plain and not too hard to understand, I'd recommend Julius Caesar. But if you want something philosophical, try Hamlet. Hamlet's really tragic. I'm never bored reading it.