Comedy

This world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel.

[Comedies], in the ancient world, were regarded as of a higher rank than tragedy, of a deeper truth, of a more difficult realization, of a sounder structure, and of a revelation more complete. The happy ending of the fairy tale, the myth, and the divine comedy of the soul, is to be read, not as a contradiction, but as a transcendence of the universal tragedy of man…. Tragedy is the shattering of the forms and of our attachments to the forms; comedy, the wild and careless, inexhaustible joy of life invincible.

Seldom do we realize that the world is practically no thicker to us than the print of our footsteps on the path. Upon that surface we walk and act our comedy of life, and what is beneath is nothing to us. But it is out from that under-world, from the dead and the unknown, from the cold moist ground, that these green blades have sprung.

When you get in these people when you...get these people in, say: 'Look, the problem is that this will open the whole, the whole Bay of Pigs thing, and the President just feels that' ah, without going into the details... don't, don't lie to them to the extent to say there is no involvement, but just say this is sort of a comedy of errors, bizarre, without getting into it, 'the President believes that it is going to open the whole Bay of Pigs thing up again.' And, ah because these people are plugging for, for keeps and that they should call the FBI in and say that we wish for the country, don't go any further into this case, period!

I am sure that I would not make a good taxidermist; the temptation to improve upon nature would certainly be too strong for me. Think how easy it would be, when stuffing somebody's pet terrier, to slip a couple of human glass eyes into sockets, instead of the usual buttons. Then the owner would really be justified in saying that his pet looked almost human. If I were stuffing this two-headed calf, for instance, I could not resist making one head smile and the other one frown, so that they looked like masks of Comedy and Tragedy.

No, the Golden Mean is not a sunny, untroubled nullity, but a deep awareness of possibilities, with one eye cocked toward Comedy and the other eye skewed toward Tragedy, and out of this feat of balanced observation emerges Humor, not as a foolish amusement or an escape from reality, but as a breadth of perception, and what Heracleitus called an attunement of opposite tensions, like that of the bow and the lyre. A reconciliation of opposites, indeed.

Lord! haven't I seen you with the greatest authors in your hands, and don't I know how ready your attention is to wander when it's a book that asks for it, instead of a person?

The rest of the people know the condition of the country, for they live in it, but Congress has no idea what is going on in America, so the President has to tell 'em.

If you live in a dark cellar too long, you will hate the sunshine. You may even have lost the power of the eye to tolerate light. From this comes hatred toward sunlight.

The aim of education is to induce the largest amount of neurosis that the individual can bear without cracking.

The world is getting to be such a dangerous place, a man is lucky to get out of it alive.

The consolations of space are nameless things. It was after the neurosis of winter. It was in the genius of summer that they blew up the statue of Jove among the boomy clouds. It took all day to quieten the sky and then to refill its emptiness again.

That serves to explain in part the necessity that women so often are to men. And it serves to explain how restless they are under her criticism; how impossible it is for her to say to them this book is bad, this picture is feeble, or whatever it may be, without giving far more pain and rousing far more anger than a man would do who gave the same criticism. For if she begins to tell the truth, the figure in the looking-glass shrinks; his fitness for life is diminished. How is he to go on giving judgement, civilising natives, making laws, writing books, dressing up and speechifying at banquets, unless he can see himself at breakfast and at dinner at least twice the size he really is?

A heavy heart bears not a humble tongue; excuse me so, coming too short of thanks for my great suit so easily obtained. Love’s Labour’s Lost

A light wife doth make a heavy husband. The Merchant of Venice, Act v, Scene 1

A noble brother, whose nature is so far from doing harms, that he suspects none. King Lear, Act i, Scene 2

A tardiness in nature, a tardiness in nature which often leaves the history unspoken that it intends to do? My lord of Burgundy, what say you to the lady? Love's not love when it is mingled with regards that stand aloof from the entire point. Will you have her? She is herself a dowry. King Lear, Act i, Scene 1

A young man married is a man that 's marr'd. All 's Well that Ends Well. Act ii. Sc. 3.

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now; your gambols, your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning? Quite chap-fallen? Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must come. ! Hamlet Prince of Denmark (Hamlet at V, i)

ALONSO: Give us kind keepers, heavens! What were these? SEBASTIAN: A living drollery. Now I will believe that there are unicorns; that in Arabia there is one tree, the phoenix' throne, one phoenix at this hour reigning there. ANTONIO: I'll believe both; and what does else want credit, come to me, and I'll be sworn 'tis true; travellers ne'er did lie, though fools at home condemn 'em. The Tempest, Act iii, Scene 3