Shakespeare did write this clever quote in the comedy Twelfth Night, but the tone in which it had been originally stated makes literature experts doubt that the great poet and playwright actually stood by this expression. This is because this phrase first appears in a letter to Malvolio, a pompous and egotistical character, and these words are meant to stroke his ego. For the second time, the same lines are mockingly repeated by Feste. Thus, it's very likely that there is quite a lot of ridicule in the author's tone regarding this grandiose-sounding phrase.
This phrase was borrowed from a medieval French proverb in the 16th century, and like most proverbs and sayings, it exists in different versions. That said, most of these original versions are more specific than the English one, and they read something like “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it burned in one.” Therefore, using it to highlight that achieving great things take time is only half-accurate.
This famous line from The Mourning Bride (1697) by William Congreve is often used to express how fierce some women can be, but this quote, too, has been grossly misconstrued. The full quote is as follows, "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned / Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned." From this full quotation, we can tell that the author actually states that there is no greater danger than the rage brought about by a broken heart in general, and the female anger is but one example he mentions.
This phrase is often used to highlight the importance of privacy or even standoffishness between neighbors. However, Rober Frost's words were misunderstood. In the poem Mending Wall there is a fence between two neighbors' yards. The neighbors work together to repair the fence every spring, and they disagree on whether they need the fence in the first place. Thus, the famous words "Good fences make good neighbors" is uttered ironically, as the two neighbors don't really need the border separating them and only keep it as a tradition.
Though we don't know for certain who was the first to utter this phrase, most sources attribute it to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a brilliant architect who, fun fact, also coined the popular saying "Less is more." When it comes to the quote in question, however, it has been misquoted all these years, as the original version of it is literally the opposite. Van der Rohe really said, "God is in the details."
People mostly use this quote arguing for the idea that people with different backgrounds and beliefs cannot truly understand and relate to each other. This is because they likely only read this first part of the quote, but it goes on like this: "But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth. When two strong men stand face to face, tho’ they come from the ends of the earth.” So, Kipling actually intends to say that people are, in fact, essentially the same and our differences can be overcome.
Many people use this phrase to express how they're hopeful of the future or a fresh start. However, Margaret Mitchell, the author of the novel Gone with the Wind, wrote the famous words with a very different intention. Scarlett's words are as follows, "I'll think of it all tomorrow, at Tara. I can stand it then. Tomorrow, I'll think of some way to get him back. After All, tomorrow is another day." In this context, to Scarlett, the next day will not bring a fresh start, but another in a series of attempts to win back her love.
Chances are you've used this quote by the Great Bard of Avon to express your optimistic outlook on life, but in the original context, these words are anything but happy go lucky. This phrase is uttered when Falstaff refuses to lend Pistol a penny. In turn, he replies with: "Why then the world's mine oyster, / Which I with sword will open." So, then, the quote really expresses the idea that violence is sometimes necessary in order to achieve your goal. Who knew?
We actually like this phrase, but the author who first wrote it, Lewis Carrol, actually said it ironically. The phrase appears in Alice in Wonderland. It is said by The Duchess, an offputting character who beats her baby for sneezing and utters "Love makes the world go 'round" as a passing comment.
We're not here to challenge Voltaire and his deep wisdom and wit, as we're all well aware that the French philosopher and author cannot be matched in any of these realms. However, if you're familiar with the quote above as belonging to Voltaire, know that he never even wrote it. He was, however, the inspiration to the quote, as his words "Treatise on Tolerance", which called for religious tolerance, urged Evelyn Beatrice Hall to write this actual quote a century later.
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