William Shakespeare's 12 Coldest Quotes

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Early nightfall can change our moods from sweet to sour, and we've already found ourselves sleepier toward the end of the workday. If you find winter takes a toll on your mood, check out what it did to one of the world's most famous poets: William Shakespeare. The Bard called on winter as a metaphor to convey the disdain, disgust, and hopelessness of a character. The metaphor reappears dozens of times throughout Shakespeare's works. Here are some of the snowiest examples.

1. King Henry VI, Part II; Act 2, Scene 4

Thus sometimes hath the brightest day a cloud;
And after summer evermore succeeds
Barren winter, with his wrathful nipping cold:
So cares and joys abound, as seasons fleet.

2. King Henry VI, Part III; Act 2, Scene 3

I, that did never weep, now melt with woe
That winter should cut off our spring-time so.

3. King Richard III; Act 1, Scene 1

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

4. The Two Gentlemen of Verona; Act 2, Scene 4

Should from her vesture chance to steal a kiss
And, of so great a favour growing proud,
Disdain to root the summer-swelling flower
And make rough winter everlastingly.

5. As You Like It; Act 2, Scene 3

The means of weakness and debility;
Therefore my age is as a lusty winter,
Frosty, but kindly.

6. Cymbeline; Act 4, Scene 2

Yea, and furr'd moss besides, when flowers are none,
To winter-ground thy corse.

7. Titus Andronicus; Act 3, Scene 1

In winter with warm tears I'll melt the snow
And keep eternal spring-time on thy face

8. Romeo and Juliet; Act 1, Scene 2

Such comfort as do lusty young men feel
When well-apparell'd April on the heel
Of limping winter treads, even such delight
Among fresh female buds shall you this night.

9. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark; Act 5, Scene 1

O, that that earth, which kept the world in awe,
Should patch a wall to expel the winter flaw!

10. Venus and Adonis; Stanza 132

Love comforteth like sunshine after rain,
But Lust's effect is tempest after sun;
Love's gentle spring doth always fresh remain,
Lust's winter comes ere summer half be done.

11. Sonnets; Sonnet 5

For never-resting time leads summer on
To hideous winter and confounds him there;
Sap cheque'd with frost and lusty leaves quite gone,
Beauty o'ersnow'd and bareness every where.

12. The Passionate Pilgrim; Sonnet 12

Crabbed age and youth cannot live together:
Youth is full of pleasance, age is full of care;
Youth like summer morn, age like winter weather;
Youth like summer brave, age like winter bare.

For 12-12-12, we’ll be posting twenty-four '12 lists' throughout the day. Check back 12 minutes after every hour for the latest installment, or see them all here.


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December 11, 2012 - 11:12pm
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