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The meaning and origin of the expression: Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown

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Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown

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Meaning

A person with great responsibilities, such as a king, is constantly worried.

Origin

From Shakespeare's Henry IV. Part II, 1597.

KING HENRY IV:

And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads and hanging them
With deafening clamour in the slippery clouds,
That, with the hurly, death itself awakes?
Canst thou, O partial sleep, give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude,
And in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then happy low, lie down!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

Cobbe family portrait of William ShakespeareSee other phrases and sayings from Shakespeare.