Of course, you"re acquainted with the expression "If music it is in the food that love, beat on." however do you understand who said it? Well, the master wordsmith, william Shakespeare composed these well known words, along with a organize of various other sayings us still usage today, prefer “break the ice” or do someone a “laughing stock.”

But i m sorry character stated it in i beg your pardon play? and what exactly does it mean? Prithee, read on!




You are watching: If music be the food of love meaning

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Portrait of william Shakespeare

The full Quote indigenous Twelfth Night

This lovely phrase originates from one of Shakespeare’s plays title Twelfth Night. In this play, Orsino, the duke of Illyria, is head over heels in love through the Countess Olivia. However, she’s inserted herself right into a duration of mourning, so Orsino can not woo her.

As a result, Orsino asks for there to be an overabundance of music. He really hopes that it will cure him of his obsession through love in the same way that eating too lot food have the right to make who sick. It transforms out that, in the end, Orsino’s love no genuine. He simply likes the idea of being in love. He’s a little of a dreamer.

Take a look in ~ the complete excerpt indigenous the opening scene the Twelfth Night:

If music it is in the food the love, play on;

Give me overabundance of it, that, surfeiting,

The appetite may sicken, and so die.

That stress, overload again! it had actually a dying fall:

O, it came o"er my ear choose the sweet sound,

That breathes top top a bank of violets,

Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:

"Tis not so sweet currently as it was before.

O spirit of love! exactly how quick and fresh art thou,

That, nevertheless thy capacity

Receiveth together the sea, nought start there,

Of what validity and also pitch soe"er,

But falls into abatement and low price,

Even in a minute: so complete of shapes is fancy

That the alone is high fantastical.




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What Does it Mean?

If you’re brand-new to Shakespeare, it deserve to be tricky come decipher the full an interpretation behind his Old English prose. Still, the words here are not too complicated to unpack.

Orsino is acknowledging the fact that music is the "food of love." Music inspires people to love. Being a cool man, Orsino supposes music can also cause world to autumn in love v each other. In various other words, probably there’s still hope because that him and Olivia.In the paper definition of this words, we view that Orsino desperately desires love (or, at least, thinks he does). By being "fed" love, the appetite will ultimately go away.

Shakespearean Inspiration

What perform you think? have the right to an overabundance of music healing unrequited love? Shakespeare was talented enough to tap right into feelings of love, unrequited love, tragedy, comedy, and more. There was no topic he can not dramatize. Space you interested in familiarizing yourself with several of Shakespeare"s various other works? If so, look the end for his constant use of photos of food to show love and also a totality field of other emotions and also ideas.

His complete works together a playwright room astounding. He composed 37 plays (that we recognize of). To savor an ext delectable delights via his prose, take it a look in ~ the full list of the plays of william Shakespeare. Check out what you could want come enjoy next after Twelfth Night, from the tragedy of Romeo and also Juliet come the history of King Richard III.