Shakespearean Expressions

Some comparisons with Indian Idioms

Sujatha R
2 min readAug 22, 2022

I saw this interesting picture on Facebook and a passing thought came by..

Some of the expressions seem prevalent in Sanskrit and Hindi. Maybe Shakespeare popularized or polished the expressions of his time. Or Great minds think alike thingie. Whatever.. It is an interesting teaser for sure.

Do share your thoughts and comments if you see some more matches.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2011/09/15/140520535/things-we-say-today-and-owe-to-shakespeare

Love is blind’ and moha-andhaah

Naked truth’ kind of sounds like ‘unveiling of the truth’ or ‘uncovering the layers’ aavaraNa in the Upanishad and Gita-like language of expression..

Make your hair stand at the end’ sounds like ‘roma harsha jayate’ meaning ‘stimulation and excitement causing the hair to stand’

‘Full circle’ seems relatable to chakra of time, chakra of give-and-take. Meghadoota has this expression ‘nichair gacchai upari cha..chakra krama’. The ferry-wheel of ups-and-downs..

Faint-hearted’ sounds like karpanya-dosha-apahat-swabhava of Bhagawad-Gita (He-whose-nature-has-been-robbed-by-miserliness-of-discretion)

‘To be or not to be’.. The Swan’s description of princess Damayanti to King Nala.. Existence or rather non existence of her beautiful thin waist..

Out of the jaws of death’ sounds like the imagery of Vishwaroopa Yoga.. And ‘teekshna-damshtra of kaala’

Some Hindi expressions that I could think of. Maybe there are equivalents in Sanskrit.

Heart of hearts’, ‘Mann hi mann’

Fight Fire with fire’ ‘int ka jawaab pattar se’

what’s done is done’ ‘jo beet gai so beet gai’

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,

The above Quote from ‘As you like it’ quite resonates with the Gita, Upanishads, Lalita SahasraNaamams, and other Advaitic works.

In the timeline of aging, we keep donning different garbs, discarding the old one for the new one - Gita

William Shakespeare is credited with the invention or introduction of over 1,700 words that are still used in English today

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Sujatha R

I write.. I weave.. I walk.. कवयामि.. वयामि.. यामि.. Musings on Music, Linguistics & Patterns