Quoting from literature is a key way to make yourself appear to be well read. Quotes from poems, plays, novels and various other literary ephemera can spice up your conversation and make you seem well read, so here are a few quotes, from a variety of sources, that all men should familiarise themselves with. They should also learn them by heart, because I can’t tell you the amount of arguments that have arisen from one misplaced word in a Shakespeare quote (ITS ” I KNEW HIM HORATIO” HOW IS THAT SO HARD TO GET”).
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.” Juliet, Act II, scene ii From William Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet.
“Sorrow is knowledge: they who know the most must mourn the deepest o’er the fatal truth,that the Tree of Knowledge is not that of Life.” Act I scene i from Lord Byron’s Manfred.
“England has done one thing; it has invented and established Public Opinion, which is an attempt to organize the ignorance of the community, and to elevate it to the dignity of physical force.” Part II, The Critic As Artist, Oscar Wilde.
“From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were — I have not seen
As others saw — I could not bring
My passions from a common spring —
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow — I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone —
And all I lov’d — I lov’d alone ” Alone, Edgar Allen Poe.
“I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: — Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.” Ozymandias, Percy Bysshe Shelley.
“The offences that one does a man should be should be such that he fears no revenge for it.” The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli.
“Every tradition grows ever more venerable — the more remote its origin, the more confused that origin is. The reverence due to it increases from generation to generation. The tradition finally becomes holy and inspires awe.” Human All To0 Human, Friedrich Nietzsche.
“Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here.” War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
” A soundbite never buttered any parsnips” John Major
“Take it from me, there’s nothing more terrible than someone out to do the world a favour.” Sourcery, Terry Pratchett
Hopefully some of these should enrich your conversational prowess, and make you seem a tad more loquacious and erudite.