"Th' idea of her life shall sweetly creep / Into his study of imagination."

— Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)

"Th' idea of her life shall sweetly creep / Into his study of imagination."
Metaphor in Context
Marry, this, well carried, shall on her behalf
Change slander to remorse. That is some good.
But not for that dream I on this strange course,
But on this travail look for greater birth.
She -- dying, as it must be so maintained,
Upon the instant that she was accused --
Shall be lamented, pitied, and excused
Of every hearer. For it so falls out
That what we have, we prize not to the worth
Whiles we enjoy it, but, being lacked and lost,
Why then we rack the value, then we find
The virtue that possession would not show us
Whiles it was ours. So will it fare with Claudio.
When he shall hear she died upon his words,
Th' idea of her life shall sweetly creep
Into his study of imagination
And every lovely organ of her life
Shall come apparelled in more precious habit,
More moving-delicate, and full of life,
Into the eye and prospect of his soul
Than when she lived indeed. Then shall he mourn,
If ever love had interest in his liver,
And wish he had not so accusèd her,
No, though he thought his accusation true.
Let this be so, and doubt not but success
Will fashion the event in better shape
Than I can lay it down in likelihood.
But if all aim but this be levelled false,
The supposition of the lady's death
Will quench the wonder of her infamy.
And if it sort not well, you may conceal her,
As best befits her wounded reputation,
In some reclusive and religious life,
Out of all eyes, tongues, minds, and injuries.
Shakespeare, William. The Complete Works. Oxford Shakespeare. Electronic Edition for the IBM PC. Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor, Editor.
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The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.