Shakespeare Quotes

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more

Balthasar:
Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever,
One foot in sea, and one on shore,
To one thing constant never.
Then sigh not so, but let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into hey nonny nonny.

Much Ado About Nothing Act 2, scene 3, 62–69

At the request of the prince, Don Pedro, his attendant Balthasar sings this little tune in their host's garden. The point of the ditty—that because men will never change their ways, women should just merrily accept them as they are—is clear enough, but its relevance to the play isn't. But at least one male character, and as many as three, will come to the conclusion that women (including the chaste heroine Hero) were deceivers ever, and raise no little fuss about it. Their sounds of woe become sounds of rage, rather than "hey nonny nonny" ("what the heck").

Themes: infidelity

Speakers: Balthasar