Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow

By William Shakespeare:

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

—Macbeth Act 5, scene 5, 19–28

I know this poem is overdone, but it’s one of my favorites and it’s so beautifully illustrative of the emotion Shakespeare is trying to capture that I thought I’d put it up here anyway.


10 thoughts on “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow

  1. Sadly I’ve yet to read Macbeth, but this reminds me of Shakespeare’s 12th sonnet. I don’t think I’ll ever forget “And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves /Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard…”

    • Haha wow I never heard someone compare Shakespeare to summer flicks 🙂 I can just imagine my English teacher having little spasms at the thought of it. I think though that for the first read, any work of Shakespeare is much more than pure entertainment—it’s a lot of analysis and hard work. But I suppose that once you’re used to Shakespeare, it could be that way (I wouldn’t know though, I’m still very shaky when it comes to reading Shakespeare).

      • Actually, your teacher might agree with me. Shakespeare’s plays were written to entertain the widest audience possible. He had dramas, romantic comedies, action… I’m not denying there is depth and subtlety there as well, but I’ve always felt that the best way to enjoy Shakespeare is to see it performed. They were written as plays, and reading alone just isn’t the same.

      • That’s true, it probably is a whole other experience to see the plays performed live, and Shakespeare did write to entertain. Maybe that’s part of the reason why I have such a hard time getting through his plays—because it is supposed to be seen, not read.

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