The world's mine oyster
I will not lend thee a penny.
Why then the world's mine oyster,
Which I with sword will open.
Not a penny.
If you boast that "The world's my oyster" nowadays, you're
claiming that the world's riches are yours to leisurely pluck from
the shell. The braggart ensign Pistol, however, utters the phrase
as a sort of threat—of the aggressively bombastic kind he's known
for. Sir John Falstaff, a braggart almost the equal of Pistol,
refuses to lend him a penny; Pistol promises to use his sword, if
not on Falstaff, then on other helpless victims, to pry open their
purses. Pistol's thievish intentions have largely been forgotten,
and "The world's my oyster" has become merely a conceited
proclamation of opportunity.