Wordy Wednesday – “To thine own self be true…”

Hello lovely readers, welcome to another edition of Wordy Wednesday.  We have for you today a quote from Hamlet.

Before we jump to it, for those who have not read the play or need a refresher, let’s consider the context.

The quote is from Act I, Scene iii.  The scene involves Ophelia and her brother Laertes. Lord Polonius is their father; in the following quote he speaks to Laertes:

LORD POLONIUS

Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard, for shame!
The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail,
And you are stay’d for. There; my blessing with thee!
And these few precepts in thy memory
See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
[…]

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell: my blessing season this in thee!

To thine own self be true” is still used today in movies and television shows. Trekkies, in The Next Generation, the famous line is used in episode Hide and Q.  Not a Star Trek fan? Fear not, it is also used in Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, episode Voice From the Past. It’s also in Roseanne, episode Mothers and Other Strangers.

Some television shows have “to thine own self be true” as the title of the episode.  Examples include: season 2, episode 10 of 90210; season 22, episode 31 of Casualty;  and season 2, episode 17 of Make It or Break It.

Still relevant today, am I right?  With movies, the list continues:

1994- Renaissance Man

1995- Clueless (Yes. Clueless.)

1996- The Last of the High Kings

1998- The Last Days of Disco

2007- I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

I’m sure there are many more out there.  Which ones are your favourites?  What would you add to my list?

Adieu for now and to “thine own self be true”

By Ingrid Pleitez

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