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Slings and arrows.

Posted by ESC on October 13, 2003

In Reply to: Slings and arrows. posted by Bruce Kahl on October 13, 2003

: : I would like to know the meaning behind Shakespeares phrase 'The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune'as I have been told it will provide comfort?

: : I would be grateful for your reply.

: : Many Thanks

: : Melanie

: This phrase comes from Shakespeare's play, Hamlet.
: Slings and arrows are weapons used to attack people, and fortune means things that happen to you.
: We all have to suffer the slings and arrows of daily living and living life on life's terms, so there's no point getting depressed when things go wrong.
: Unpleasant things will happen to you that you cannot prevent.

: To be, or not to be: that is the question Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
: the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of
: troubles, and by opposing end them? To die: To sleep; no more; and by a sleep to
: say we end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to
: 'tis a consummation devoutly to be wish'd. To die; to sleep; perchance to dream:
: ah there's the rub; for in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we
: have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause.
: (Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III, Scene I)

SLINGS AND ARROWS - Adversity, troubles, bad luck. ("Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Allusions" by Elizabeth Webber and Mike Feinsilber (Merriam-Webster, Springfield, Mass., 1999) Another source says in the "To Be or Not to Be" soliloquy, Hamlet is "contemplating the nature of taking action." ("Brush Up on Your Shakespeare!" By Michael Macrone (Gramercy Books, New York, 1999)