she is fierce

Literary Tattoos: Shakespeare A Midsummer Nights Dream

This belongs to Liz Robertson.

This tattoo is from Act 3 scene 2 of my favorite play, ‘A Midsummer Night’s DreamLiterary Tattoos: Shakespeare A Midsummer Nights Dream ‘ by William Shakespeare. I love this quote and it was used to describe me by my High School Theatre director, because being only 5’1″ and 95 lbs., I can be ferocious in the scene shop. It gives me strength to deal with life’s trials and tribulations and when the world has made me feel ‘low and little’, I know I can make it, because I am fierce.

Oh, when she’s angry, she is keen and shrewd!
She was a vixen when she went to school.
And though she be but little, she is fierce.

- A Midsummer Night’s DreamLiterary Tattoos: Shakespeare A Midsummer Nights Dream , 3.2.333-335

sleepe thou

This belongs to Emma Medeiros:

I first had the idea when my daughter was born. I liked the idea of winding her up in my arms as she slept… Then this year I began training to be a midwife and it seemed even better.

Literary Tattoos: Shakespeare A Midsummer Nights Dream

BOTTOM
I had rather have a handful or two of dried peas.
But, I pray you, let none of your people stir me: I
have an exposition of sleep come upon me.

TITANIA
Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.
Fairies, begone, and be all ways away.

Exeunt fairies

So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle
Gently entwist; the female ivy so
Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.
O, how I love thee! how I dote on thee!

They sleep

- Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 4 Scene 1.

king of infinite space

Literary Tattoos: Shakespeare Hamlet

This belongs to Nikita.

 It’s from Shakespeare’s Hamlet (Act II, Scene ii), which I read in high school and which really struck a chord with me.  My favorite English teacher taught the class, high school was a difficult but ultimately emboldening time for me, and I have been an avid theatre-lover for as long as I can remember– the line seemed to to fit.

I.iii.66-71

Literary Tattoos: Shakespeare As You Like It

These tattoos belong to Janine Vero & Ursula Vero, and were submitted by Janine.

I have several tattoos, but this is my first literary tattoo.

My sister and I are not traditional when it comes to tattoos & enjoy tattoos that hold unique charm and special sentiment. We have been on the constant search for something representative of our close relationship and finally came upon lines from William Shakespeare’s play “As You Like It” (specifically Act One, Scene Three, Lines 66-71 .. the tattoo reads I.iii.66-71). Here are Shakespeare’s words. Very fitting for our bond:

I was too young at that time to value her,
But now I know her. If she be a traitor,
Why, so am I. We still have slept together,
Rose at an instant, learned, played, eat together,
And wheresoe’er we went, like Juno’s swans,
Still we went coupled and inseperable.

FYI: In the picture my tattoo is vertical on my arm and my sister’s is across her wrist.

To Thine Own Self Be True

Literary Tattoos: Shakespeare Hamlet

This is Nikki’s tattoo.

Shakespeare is, essentially, my life– it’s what I’ve been studying for the past few years of my undergraduate career, what I plan to study into graduate school, and hopefully what I will end up teaching as a professor; thus, it only seemed appropriate to get at least one quote tattooed somewhere on my body. Hopefully there are more to come.

Literary Tattoos: Shakespeare Hamlet

This is Nicole’s.

Just a wonderful sentiment.

Literary Tattoos: Shakespeare Hamlet

This belongs to Julia and was done by Jessica at Staircase Tattoos in Santa Cruz, CA.

Literary Tattoos: Shakespeare Hamlet

This is Kathryn’s.

I waited eighteen years to get this. My plan was to get one after I graduated high school, but the money I had set aside went to repairing my car after an accident instead. After that I met my husband, and he’s not a fan of tattoos. We’ve been together almost twenty years, and for my birthday this year he encouraged me to finally get one. After months of consideration I decided on this. A reminder to be brave and never doubt myself. I’ve loved Shakespeare all my life, so it was fitting. (The quote is from Hamlet.)

“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

- William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 1, scene 3, 78-81

To thine own self be true

Literary Tattoos: Shakespeare Hamlet

This is Amy’s.

I wanted this quote for two reasons. The first reason is what the quote says. My goal is to always stay true to myself. The second reason is that I have my B.A. in English, and I adore Shakespeare. So, it was, what I thought, an appropriate homage to him.

Literary Tattoos: Shakespeare Hamlet

This is Jennifer Berry’s.

Literary Tattoos: Shakespeare Hamlet

This one belongs to Meris:

My mom was a theater major in college, and when she was still in school she studied all of Shakespeare’s plays.  She said that the line “This above all: to thine ownself be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man” from Hamlet really shaped her and helped guide her life.  It’s a line that she used to teach me throughout my childhood.  This spring, after an event turned my world upside down, making me unsure of who I could trust, I decided to get this tattooed on my back in my mother’s handwriting.  My mom’s name means “honey bee” in Greek, so I decided to get a little bee along with it.

Literary Tattoos: Shakespeare Hamlet

This one belongs to Lauren.

Literary Tattoos: Shakespeare Hamlet

This is Hope’s.

I got this tattoo when I was in college. I know I love Shakespeare so much because of my father, who is a huge Shakespeare buff and was taking his children to the theater when other dads were going to baseball games. This is Shakespeare’s best piece of fatherly advice, so I consider it a tribute to my father and the bard.
Plus, they talk about this quote in Clueless, so even those deprived people who haven’t read Hamlet understand it.

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Hamlet, Act I, sc. iii

what’s past is prologue

This Shakespeare tattoo belongs to Brooke.

I am a student currently in my third year of an English Lit. BA at RHUL. My dissertation about The Tempest is positively screaming at me to finish it from the bottom of my screen! As the Shakespeareans amongst you will already have noticed, this is a quotation from The Tempest.

Shakespeare is so important to me. I plan to make my career in Shakespeare studies, post-grad then academia for as long as the world will put up with my ramblings.

The quote itself provokes a lot of questions, and it’s one of those phrases whose meaning changes depending on the context. For me it means that everything that has come before is prologue to what comes next. My mistakes lead in to my victories. Everything that has happened has an influence on and a purpose in my life today, and tomorrow. Essentially: The person I am is indivisible from the person I was, and I’m okay with that.

The Tempest itself is just incredible. It’s an absolute masterpiece and it’s an honour to wear a small part of it on my back.

Literary Tattoos: The Tempest Shakespeare

“What’s past is prologue.”

- William Shakespeare, The Tempest