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Most famous lines in Literature - 6/10/2010 10:07:30 PM   
Sumintelligentguy


Posts: 3736
Joined: 31/8/2006
I was in class the other day and my lecturer needed an example of the most famous line in literature so she picked the 'To be, or not to be' speech from Hamlet.

I got to thinking, that can't be the most famous line in literature surely?

On first thought I suggested:

'O Romeo, Romeo,
wherefore art thou Romeo?"

or even

'It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife'

What are your suggestions?

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RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 6/10/2010 10:53:37 PM   
Dirty Hartigan


Posts: 5890
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Manchester
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."

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Post #: 2
RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 6/10/2010 11:29:37 PM   
the sangypange


Posts: 864
Joined: 18/11/2006
From: plymouth
Call me Ishmael. Some years ago — never mind how long precisely — having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.

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RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 6/10/2010 11:33:24 PM   
Larry of Arabia

 

Posts: 7576
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From: Turtle Island
My favourite passage is Tom Joad's "I'll be there" speech from The Grapes of Wrath. More famous is "Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious summer by this sun of York," from Shakespeare's Richard III and I like the Count's "children of the night" line from Dracula as well. 

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RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 7/10/2010 12:08:56 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


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"Marley was dead: to begin with"


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RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 7/10/2010 12:19:35 AM   
hellsangel66


Posts: 531
Joined: 25/11/2009
From: Scotland
For me...one my favourite lines comes from T S Eliot's 'The Hollow Men':

"This is how the world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper"


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RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 7/10/2010 12:28:19 AM   
Rinc


Posts: 12756
Joined: 2/10/2005
From: A park bench, with a newspaper quilt
A few of them mentioned already:

'It was the best of times it was the worst of times'

''Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make'

But I think Shakespeare has a bit of a hold on this, some of which have entered common lexicon so much most people don't know they're Shakespeare:

'To Be or not to be'
'Such stuff as dreams are made on'
'O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?'
'All the world's a stage'
'The winter of our discontent'
'What's in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.'
'The lady doth protest too much'
'A plague a' both your houses'
'If music be the food of love, play on'
'Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears'
'A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse!'
'Alas, poor Yorick'
'Double, double toil and trouble'
'Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more'

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RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 7/10/2010 3:26:21 AM   
Woger


Posts: 3813
Joined: 30/9/2005
More of a paragraph; from The Dead.

Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, on the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

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RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 7/10/2010 10:40:30 AM   
sharkboy


Posts: 6271
Joined: 26/9/2005
From: Belfast
quote:

ORIGINAL: Woger

More of a paragraph; from The Dead.

Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, on the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.


It may not be the most famous, but it's certainly one of my favourite passages.   Hell, it even got adapted for Father Ted!

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RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 7/10/2010 11:41:07 AM   
MOTH

 

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From: Sittin' on the dock of the bay
"Little pig, little pig, let me come in!"
"Not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin!"
"Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in"


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RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 7/10/2010 4:11:27 PM   
Woger


Posts: 3813
Joined: 30/9/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: sharkboy

quote:

ORIGINAL: Woger

More of a paragraph; from The Dead.

Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, on the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.


It may not be the most famous, but it's certainly one of my favourite passages.   Hell, it even got adapted for Father Ted!



It did?


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Eddie: "Weve been burgaled"
Richie: You may have been, but I have never in my life. As a christian I am so tightly clenched, oh you mean burgaled
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Post #: 11
RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 7/10/2010 8:01:44 PM   
matty_b


Posts: 14445
Joined: 19/10/2005
From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.
It's from the episode where Father Jack "dies", is it not?

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RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 7/10/2010 10:03:30 PM   
Rebenectomy


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From: 10-0-11-0-0 by 0-2
Yeah, that one from The Dead is amazing, did a whole section in my A Level coursework about the beauty of that paragraph..

Oh and from the opening line of my biography...

'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again'


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RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 7/10/2010 10:13:41 PM   
Woger


Posts: 3813
Joined: 30/9/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: matty_b

It's from the episode where Father Jack "dies", is it not?


Yes.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCiUzvAoEk4

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Eddie: "Weve been burgaled"
Richie: You may have been, but I have never in my life. As a christian I am so tightly clenched, oh you mean burgaled
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Post #: 14
RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 8/10/2010 10:00:24 AM   
galvatron


Posts: 1198
Joined: 1/10/2005
"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."

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Post #: 15
RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 8/10/2010 10:00:56 AM   
sharkboy


Posts: 6271
Joined: 26/9/2005
From: Belfast
Yep, that's the one - it's one of my favourite Father Ted moments  It's also inscribed on the window of the Guinness Storehouse's Gravity Bar overlooking Dublin - made a pleasant read last weekend while I was enjoying my pint of the black stuff

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Every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we're reminded that that capacity may well be limitless

I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit.

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Post #: 16
RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 12/3/2012 9:54:17 PM   
Rinc


Posts: 12756
Joined: 2/10/2005
From: A park bench, with a newspaper quilt
I'm putting together a list of the most famous quotes in literature/poetry to put up in my classroom. Has anyone got any famous quotes apart from the ones already mentioned?

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Post #: 17
RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 12/3/2012 10:07:58 PM   
Chief Wiggum


Posts: 1919
Joined: 30/9/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rinc

I'm putting together a list of the most famous quotes in literature/poetry to put up in my classroom. Has anyone got any famous quotes apart from the ones already mentioned?


"It's all in the game, yo" Omar Little

seriously though, you could have some fun (I assume you're teaching English) especially from 1984..

quote:


"It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isn't only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, what justification is there for a word which is simply the opposite of some other word? A word contains its opposite in itself. Take "good", for instance. If you have a word like "good", what need is there for a word like "bad"? "Ungood" will do just as well — better, because it's an exact opposite, which the other is not. Or again, if you want a stronger version of "good", what sense is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like "excellent" and "splendid" and all the rest of them? "Plusgood" covers the meaning, or "doubleplusgood" if you want something stronger still. Of course we use those forms already. but in the final version of Newspeak there'll be nothing else. In the end the whole notion of goodness and badness will be covered by only six words — in reality, only one word. Don't you see the beauty of that, Winston?"




or if you want something pithy that will appeal to the kids at the back wearing eyeliner

quote:


"Orthodoxy is unconsciousness"

also George Orwell, 1984

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RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 12/3/2012 10:16:26 PM   
Larry of Arabia

 

Posts: 7576
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"No man is an island" and "For whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee" by John Donne are a good pair.

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RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 12/3/2012 10:20:19 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Larry of Arabia

"No man is an island" and "For whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee" by John Donne are a good pair.


John did, Larry, John did.

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Post #: 20
RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 12/3/2012 10:28:03 PM   
Chief Wiggum


Posts: 1919
Joined: 30/9/2005
Actually I've thought of another you could use for a poster

quote:


This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath,
May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.
William Shakespeare,

I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days
- three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain. ~John Keats

I love you like a fat kid loves cake - 50 cent




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RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 12/3/2012 10:31:49 PM   
Larry of Arabia

 

Posts: 7576
Joined: 28/2/2007
From: Turtle Island

quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson


quote:

ORIGINAL: Larry of Arabia

"No man is an island" and "For whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee" by John Donne are a good pair.


John did, Larry, John did.



Well done Rawlinson, for once you made someone groan and it wasn't Matty_b's mum.

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RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 12/3/2012 10:33:26 PM   
Rebel scum


Posts: 3483
Joined: 2/1/2006
quote:

ORIGINAL: Rinc

I'm putting together a list of the most famous quotes in literature/poetry to put up in my classroom. Has anyone got any famous quotes apart from the ones already mentioned?


"One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in his bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug."-Metamorphosis

"Abandon all hope, ye who enter here"-The Divine Comedy

"Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!"-Treasure Island


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RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 12/3/2012 10:37:44 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Larry of Arabia


quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson


quote:

ORIGINAL: Larry of Arabia

"No man is an island" and "For whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee" by John Donne are a good pair.


John did, Larry, John did.



Well done Rawlinson, for once you made someone groan and it wasn't Matty_b's mum.


The credit should go to Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton.

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Post #: 24
RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 13/3/2012 5:50:12 PM   
Rinc


Posts: 12756
Joined: 2/10/2005
From: A park bench, with a newspaper quilt
Thanks for the suggestions people!

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RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 13/3/2012 7:07:56 PM   
directorscut


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[Frankly] my Rinc, I don't give a damn.

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RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 13/3/2012 7:17:36 PM   
King of Kafiristan

 

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From: The States
The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

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Post #: 27
RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 14/3/2012 9:09:32 PM   
sharkboy


Posts: 6271
Joined: 26/9/2005
From: Belfast
quote:

"There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to, he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.

"That's some catch, that Catch-22," he observed.

"It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed."


quote:

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.


< Message edited by sharkboy -- 14/3/2012 9:38:04 PM >


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RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 17/3/2012 10:05:45 AM   
jonson


Posts: 8913
Joined: 30/9/2005
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.



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Post #: 29
RE: Most famous lines in Literature - 17/3/2012 1:57:46 PM   
horribleives

 

Posts: 4975
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There's no better opening line than:

It was the day my grandmother exploded.

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