The Merchant of Venice Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Is "All that glitters is not gold" the correct quotation from The Merchant of Venice?

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The original line is as follows:

All that glisters is not gold,
Often have you heard that told:
Many a man his life hath sold,
But my outside to behold:
Gilded tombs do worms enfold. (II.7)

It is spoken by Morrocco, who is reading from a scroll that was inside a casket (jeweled box). Portia has two caskets: one contains a miniature portrait of her; the other has the scroll. She is using them in a contest to choose who she will marry. "Glister" is an archaic form of the word "glisten." Most often today it is replaced with the word "glitter," as in your question.

Visit the sites below for more on the meaning and origin of the word.

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