Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety


What's the meaning of the phrase 'Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety'?

Shakespeare has his character Enobarbus give the opinion that Anthony will never become bored with Cleopatra and that she grows more attractive to him as she ages.

The expression is used, sometimes ironically, to express one’s devotion to a lover.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety'?

From Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, 1606:

DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS:
Never; he will not:
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety: other women cloy
The appetites they feed: but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies; for vilest things
Become themselves in her: that the holy priests
Bless her when she is riggish.

Trend of age can not wither her in printed material over time

Gary Martin is a writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.

Gary Martin

Writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.