can someone please translate the shakesperian poem below into modern day english?

Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,

Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;

But do not dull thy palm with entertainment

Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg’d comrade. Beware

Of entrance to a quarrel but, being in,

Bear't that th' opposed may beware of thee.

Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;

Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgement.

Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,

But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;

For the apparel oft proclaims the man;

And they in France of the best rank and station

Are of a most select and generous chief in that.

Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;

For loan oft loses both itself and friend,

And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

This above all: to thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,

Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;

But do not dull thy palm with entertainment

Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg’d comrade. Beware

Of entrance to a quarrel but, being in,

Bear't that th' opposed may beware of thee.

Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;

Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgement.

Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,

But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;

For the apparel oft proclaims the man;

And they in France of the best rank and station

Are of a most select and generous chief in that.

Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;

For loan oft loses both itself and friend,

And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

This above all: to thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Update:

just up to the bit where it says: thou canst be false to any man

5 Answers

Relevance
  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    A couple of notes before I begin.

    1) The above extract has been pasted twice by mistake. There are two copies of the same paragraph, one after the other. It begins with "Those friends thou hast" and ends with "thou canst be false to any man"

    2) First I tried searching for a translation in the internet, but failing to find one, I attempted translating it myself. To my pleasant surprise, I found that I could it till the last line. But I warn you, I am not an expert ad the translation may not be exact. What I have presented is my understanding of it.

    So I go, translating line by line:

    Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,

    Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;

    (Hold your true friends close to your heart)

    Thou - you

    hast - have

    their adoption tried - tested their trueness

    Grapple them to thy soul - Hold them to your heart

    with hoops of steel - tightly, closely

    But do not dull thy palm with entertainment

    Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg’d comrade.

    (Don't waste your time being entertained by untested, newly formed friends)

    dull thy palm - ??

    new hatched - newly formed. As a bird is newly hatched from its egg.)

    unfledg’d - not yet having developed feathers

    Beware Of entrance to a quarrel but, being in,

    Bear't that th' opposed may beware of thee.

    (Be careful bout entering into a quarrel, but once you are in a quarrel be brave and fight fiercely. Remember that the opponent may be afraid of you.)

    Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;

    (Listen to everybody, but be limited in your speech. Don't babble.)

    Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgement.

    (Be ready to be judged by everybody, but don't judge others freely.)

    Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,

    (Have only affordable habits . Don't have an expensive hobby that you can't sustain.)

    But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;

    (Let it not be an obsession. Let your habits be rich, but don't show-off your riches.)

    For the apparel oft proclaims the man;

    (The clothes you wear reveal (tell) the kind of person you are.)

    apparel - clothes

    proclaims - reveals

    And they in France of the best rank and station

    Are of a most select and generous chief in that.

    (I am not so sure of this. The rich and elite in France are very selective in their habits and indulgence. France must have been known for its fashion even in those times. :)

    generous chief - ??

    Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;

    For loan oft loses both itself and friend,

    (Don't lend other people money. And don't lend to others either. Because if you lend to a friend and he or she doesn't repay, you will be angry with him/her, and thus lose your money and your friend.)

    loan - money lent

    And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

    (Moreover, the more money you borrow, the more money you will spend. You will not be economical in spending, if you have a lot of money.)

    husbandry - economical

    This above all: to thine own self be true,

    (And this is most important. Be true to yourself. Do what you feel, not what others tell you to do.)

    And it must follow, as the night the day,

    Thou canst not then be false to any man.

    (If you are true to yourself, you can't be false to others. That is, you will be true to others as well. This is as natural as the fact that night follows day.)

    -------

    So what do you think? Was my translation useful to you?

  • 4 years ago

    Sonnet 109 Oh, never say that I was unfaithful to you in my heart, even though my absence from you suggested that my love had weakened. I can't separate myself from my feelings for you anymore than I can separate myself from myself. You are my home, and if I strayed away from you, like a traveler I have returned again, right at the appointed time, with my feelings unchanged, so I'm making up for my misdeed. Even though I have the same weaknesses in my nature as everyone made of flesh and blood, don't ever believe that I could be so morally compromised as to leave someone as good as you in exchange for something worthless. The entire universe except for you, my love, means nothing to me. You're everything to me.

  • 1 decade ago

    This is Polonius' advice to his son Laerties who is departing for study in France. It's from the play "Hamlet."

    In modern language, Polonius is saying:

    Never give up the friends you have that are true and tested

    But be careful of new friendships until they are proven.

    Avoid getting into quarrels but if you do get into one

    Be strong and persistent in your argument.

    Listen to everyone but hold you own tongue.

    Listen to criticism but reserve your judgment.

    Wear the best clothes you can afford,

    But son't wear loud, showy clothes.

    Clothes make the man,,and the French are experts on clothing.

    Don't borrow money and don't lend monry.

    Loaning can ruin friendships and borrowing can make you not value and take care of what you have.

    The most important thing is to be yourself and follow your own principles. If you do that, you will not appear to be other than what you are, and you will be trusted.by everyone. .

  • JAS
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    have read julius ceaser novel of shakesper.if u have read that novel u will easily understand all these sentences . or u can take help book of julius ceaser and find meanings from that book .

    by the way whats the name of poem ??

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    dude, its simple english. read it again, and PAY ATTENTION to what you are reading. you will understand it eventually, so stick with it.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.