William Shakespeare

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What is the Shakespeare quote about needing to express your anguish or it will destroy you? I cannot recall a single significant word that was in it so I could not find it myself.  Thanks for any...

What is the Shakespeare quote about needing to express your anguish or it will destroy you?

I cannot recall a single significant word that was in it so I could not find it myself.  Thanks for any help.

Laurel Esterlein

laurel.esterlein@att.net

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William Delaney eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Esterlein is correct. The lines appear in Act 4, Scene 3 of Macbeth, lines 246-7 in my edition of the play. Macduff has just been informed that Macbeth's soldiers have murdered his wife and all his children in revenge for Macduff's deserting him and going over to the forces being raised by Malcolm in England. It is Malcolm who speaks the words to Macduff. These lines have often been quoted over the centuries because they contain a truth that pertains not only to Macduff but to anybody who is suffering from grief.

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esterlein | Student

Thanks to srmitchell for her effort.  I fnally found the quote although it did not say what work it is from.

“Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak whispers the o'er-fraught heart, and bids it break.”

(William Shakespeare)

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srmitchell | Student

Shakespeare addresses this theme more than once, so I'm not sure which specific quote you're trying to remember. You may be thinking of Katherine in act 4, scene 3 of The Taming of the Shrew:

"My tongue will tell the anger of my heart,
Or else my heart, concealing it, will break..."

Or you may be thinking of Viola in act 2, scene 4 of Twelfth Night:

"... She never told her love,
But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud,
Feed on her damask cheek: she pined in thought,
And with a green and yellow melancholy
She sat like patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief..."

I hope this helps!

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