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What You Thought These Famous Literary Quotes Meant VS. What They Actually Mean

BBC

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Richard III by William Shakespeare

Quote: "Now is the winter of our discontent."

What you thought: I like to answer with this quote every time somebody asks me for the time. It's sadness time, buddy, now get out of my personal bubble.

But actually: The quote, when read in its entirety, has pretty much the opposite meaning: "Now is the winter of our discontent / Made glorious summer by this sun of York; / And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house / In the deep bosom of the ocean buried." Gloucester, the speaker, is saying that winter is over and life is good, the clouds are gone. What's more, this is partly due to the fact that he is planning to murder his brother, the "sun of York," and usurp the throne. So what this really means is, "Life is rad and I'm going to kill my brother." Hopefully you never need to communicate this sentiment.

Topics: Books
Tags: romeo and juliet, shakespeare, alice in wonderland, hamlet, classic lit, classic literature, required reading, classic novels, lewis carroll, robert frost, richard iii, literary quotes, famous quotes, john keats, shakespeare's plays, the road less traveled, basically you've been wrong this whole time

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Taylor Noles

Taylor has very strong feelings about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Her first name is actually Delaney, and her writing has appeared on VICE, NPR, and elsewhere. You can follow her on twitter @delaney_nolan

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