Literary Life Lines


There has been a lot of interest this past week on a previous post,  here on why characters and quotations from literature are often remembered long after the book has been put down.

Thank you for the comments, I’m delighted that you found educational or personal clarity and have selected a few more literary life lines in this post.

Literature that speaks to the human condition echoes through time when emotional connections are formed.

Love, despair, fear, envy, passion, hatred and kindness guide our motivations in the choices or decisions we make in life.

Students of literature are often expected to engage in critical appreciation of texts.

Values, culture and language, events or situations motivate characters’ actions and in turn, motivate readers’ reactions eliciting a new wave of interpreting ideas. And so the chain of literary discourse begins…


Reading for life connections and intellectual stimulation

Let’s turn to a few more examples from literature:


William Shakespeare:

Henry IV Part 1– envy

Yea, there thou mak’st me sad, and mak’st me sin
In envy that my Lord Northumberland
Should be the father to so blest a son

This implied comparison while praising the son of another reveals a father’s apparent disappointment in his own son. King Henry IV is disgruntled with his son Hal’s ‘unprincely’ moral conduct when compared to Hotspur. No doubt a timeless view of good sons and misbehaving sons.


Anthony and Cleopatra – fear and hatred

In time we hate that which we often fear

That which instils fear breeds hatred when the victim is pushed to the edge. How often have we observed the heinous outcome from either being bullied or being mistreated? This is advice that Charmian gives Cleopatra as a life lesson on what mistreatment might court.


Jane Austen – love, passion

Pride and Prejudice

In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.

This proclamation of love has saved many a marriage or started the blossoming of love that might have been lost were it not for honesty! Mr Darcy became a hero in this moment not only to Elizabeth Bennett but every hopeful lover who wanted to feel the passion in such an unremitting declaration of love.


Good literature should resonate with the reader bringing personal or literary value.

Countless writers have produced prophetic lines that will continue to reverberate into the future.

J K Rowling

Harry Potter- insult, reality check

Just because you have the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have

Insensitive individuals need a telling off if we are to improve relationships.


Cormac McCarthy

The Road – despair

There is no God and we are his prophets

A hopeless situation when life hangs in the balance. In a world where inhumanity thrives, this line sheds light on the pitiful state of the human condition where leaders are not role models for the next generation.


Continue your search for meaningful lines in literature, write your own and share your views in the message box below.

… And More Timeless Lines. 

William Wordsworth

Wisdom is oftentimes nearer when we stoop than when we soar

William Butler Yeats

The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

Robert Frost

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.


Happy Reading! Happy Studying!

Happy Labour Day Long Weekend if you’re in my neck of the woods!