Interesting quotes

What a piece of worke is a man! how Noble in
Reason? how infinite in faculty? in forme and mouing
how expresse and admirable? in Action, how like an Angel?
in apprehension, how like a God? the beauty of the
world, the Parragon of Animals; and yet to me, what is
this Quintessence of Dust? Man delights not me; no,
nor Woman neither; though by your smiling you seeme
to say so

– The tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (Act II, Scene ii, 285-300)


“It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are of a different opinions, it is because they only know their side of the question.”

— Utilitarianism, John Stewart Mill

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17 comments
  1. gn said:

    I didn’t understand the first quote. May be knowing the context would help.
    I probably understood the second one.

    • Unawoken said:

      Gn, what did you not understand about the first quote?

  2. gn said:

    A is saying to B
    “man ( human being) is so magnificient in so many ways, but to me man is nothing more than dust. so I am not at all delighted by any of these virtues”
    “Though by your smiling you seem to say so” – does this mean A is saying

    B’s smile is trying to convey that A is indeed delighted?

    OR

    that
    “even though I think man is quintessence of dust, your smile asks me to be delighted”

    • unawoken said:

      Yeah, Hamlet is saying (don’t know to who), that B thinks that Hamlet is delighted, perhaps there is some tongue-in-cheekiness, as in B is implying “perhaps man doesn’t delight you, but woman does” by his smile.

      Also, by “quintessence of dust” he does not mean “man is nothing more than dust.” as you suggest, what he does mean is that “man is the ultimate essence of dust, its ultimate and true nature”

      But still, that doesn’t delight him.

  3. gn said:

    anyways who are A & B? Have you read ‘The tragedy of Hamlet’ ?

    • unawoken said:

      A is Hamlet. I don’t know who B is. I actually don’t remember if I have read it (I have definitely read a version of it, could be an abridged version)

  4. gn said:

    OK I thing I get it now. Thank you 🙂

  5. Nikhil Thatte said:

    Do you agree with the quote on utilitarianism?
    Or maybe I did not get it! The fool and the pig know only their side of the question means what?

    • unawoken said:

      Nikhil, I am not sure if I agree with it or not. I think I somewhat I agree with it at this point.
      What “know only their side of the question” means that if the pig knew what the human did, or if the fool knew what Socrates did, they would also be of the same opinion as John Stewart Mill.

  6. Nikhil said:

    Well that makes me disagree with John Stewart Mill then. Ignorance is bliss as long as the ignorance is not in an area that causes you to have a survival handicap.
    And I would choose satisfaction over being ‘in the know and dssatisfied’. Of course, there is no correct answer!

    • unawoken said:

      Ok Nikhil, if you disagree with JSM, does that mean you have stopped finding out things that you are curious about, in areas which do not seem to have a survival handicap? If not, why not?

      • unawoken said:

        I meant “in areas unrelated to survival”

      • Nikhil Thatte said:

        No no, certainly not. I am very curious about all things whether or not they are in survival necessary areas. But, not knowing something should be a cause for happiness and wonderment rather than dissatisfaction at ‘not knowing’. I’m pretty sure (but only guessing) that it is impossible to gain all the answers – right now at least I think that if you start going to higher and higher levels of abstraction then ultimate questions start appearing which have no satisfying answers. So, let each further step of knowing bring joy because of itself and the new questions it inevitably will open bring wonderment and more joy that there is something to look forward to!

      • unawoken said:

        Nikhil,
        I think you are differing in terminology, then, perhaps.
        For,
        the fool is satisfied, means, “he knows not that he knows not” (your ignorance is bliss quote)
        Socrates dissatisfied means, “Socrates knows that he knows not”
        It seems to me that you agree with JSM, although you do agree with the “ignorance is bliss” quote as well. Perhaps you somewhat agree with JSM, just like me.

  7. wordsfromyonder said:

    Why, your blog so silent, thingsundone?
    Why the pen not writing?
    Too much time has passed…
    The thoughts need to get blogged!

    • Hmm. I dunno. Not much to say I suppose 🙂

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