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O Heaven, that such companions thou'ldst unfold,
And put in every honest hand a whip
To lash the rascals naked through the world!

      — Othello, Act IV Scene 2

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1-4 of 4 total

KEYWORD: brevity

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# Result number

Work The work is either a play, poem, or sonnet. The sonnets are treated as single work with 154 parts.

Character Indicates who said the line. If it's a play or sonnet, the character name is "Poet."

Line Shows where the line falls within the work.

The numbering is not keyed to any copyrighted numbering system found in a volume of collected works (Arden, Oxford, etc.) The numbering starts at the beginning of the work, and does not restart for each scene.

Text The line's full text, with keywords highlighted within it, unless highlighting has been disabled by the user.

1

Hamlet
[II, 2]

Polonius

1179

This business is well ended.
My liege, and madam, to expostulate
What majesty should be, what duty is,
Why day is day, night is night, and time is time.
Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time.
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief. Your noble son is mad.
Mad call I it; for, to define true madness,
What is't but to be nothing else but mad?
But let that go.

2

Henry IV, Part II
[II, 2]

Henry V

1091

Peace! [Reads] 'I will imitate the honourable Romans
brevity.'-

3

Henry IV, Part II
[II, 2]

Edward Poins

1094

He sure means brevity in breath, short-winded.

4

Troilus and Cressida
[IV, 4]

Troilus

2463

And suddenly; where injury of chance
Puts back leave-taking, justles roughly by
All time of pause, rudely beguiles our lips
Of all rejoindure, forcibly prevents
Our lock'd embrasures, strangles our dear vows
Even in the birth of our own labouring breath:
We two, that with so many thousand sighs
Did buy each other, must poorly sell ourselves
With the rude brevity and discharge of one.
Injurious time now with a robber's haste
Crams his rich thievery up, he knows not how:
As many farewells as be stars in heaven,
With distinct breath and consign'd kisses to them,
He fumbles up into a lose adieu,
And scants us with a single famish'd kiss,
Distasted with the salt of broken tears.

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