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To Each His Own

Posted by Victoria Dennis on October 07, 2010 at 07:49

In Reply to: To Each His Own posted by Baceseras on October 06, 2010 at 15:43:

: : : : : : : The origin of, "To each his own", comes from MacBeth when Shakespear wrote about Ursis father telling him on his journey, "to each his own,but to thine own self be true, this must follow as night the day, thou cans't be false to any man". All of the entries are wrong, wrong.

: : : : : :
: : : : : : Good theory, but it doesn't.

: : : : : : The lines, from Act 1, Scene 3 are:

: : : : : : This above all: to thine ownself be true,
: : : : : : And it must follow, as the night the day,
: : : : : : Thou canst not then be false to any man.
: : : : : : Farewell: my blessing season this in thee!

: : : : : : Unless you have a different version from me.

: : : : : : DFG

: : : : : [There is no character _Ursis_ in "Macbeth," and the lines are from "Hamlet." The removal of this thread would be welcome. - Bac.]

: : : Did I type MacBeth? Sorry about that - put it down to age. It doesn't take from the 'puzzling' nature of the original post, though.

: : : DFG

: : Old age and memory can creep up, yes Laertes was the boys name and again Hamlet was the tragedy, however the read is as close as any I've seen yet when the meaning means, "have your own thoughts and morals, but respect others as you would your own..

: [See, David, it just gets more puzzling, doesn't it? Will we ever find out who Ursis was? Maybe Leon Ursis, author of Exitus, Pursued by a Bear. - B.]

But, to go back to the main point: whichever the play or the name of the character, the fact remains that this passage not only isn't the origin of "to each his own", it doesn't even remotely contain the same idea. It means that if one is true to oneself one will necessarily also be true to other people.

"To each his own" is actually a straight translation of a phrase in Cicero, "suum_cuique", although Cicero meant it slightly differently - "everybody gets his own [just deserts]". The German translation, "Jedem das Seine" is used in Cicero's sense: (VSD)