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The Barber of Seville / The Marriage of Figaro / The Guilty Mother

Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais

Top 10 Best Quotes

“FIGARO. What he says isn’t always the same as what he means. Watch out for words that slip out when he’s talking, those tiny gestures, the way he moves: it’s the key to a man’s character. There’s something wicked afoot. It’s obvious he believes nothing can stop him, because to me he seems… craftier, wilier, more smug—in fact he’s like these imbeciles here in France who start cheering before the battle’s been won! You must try and be as devious as he is: butter him up, tell him what he’d like to hear, and whatever he wants, don’t say no.”

“FIGARO. Such a fantastic chain of events! How did it all happen to me? Why those things and not others? Who pointed them in my direction? Having no choice but to travel a road I was not aware I was following, and which I will get off without wanting to, I have strewn it with as many flowers as my good humour has permitted. But when I say my good humour, how can I know if it is any more mine than all the other bits of me, nor what this ‘me’ is that I keep trying to understand: first, an unformed bundle of indefinable parts, then a puny, weak-brained runt, a dainty frisking animal, a young man with a taste for pleasure and appetites to match, turning his hand to all trades to survive—sometimes master, sometimes servant as chance dictated, ambitious from pride, hard-working from necessity, but always happy to be idle! An orator when it was safe to speak out, a poet in my leisure hours, a musician as the situation required, in love in crazy fits and bursts. I’ve seen it all, done it all, had it all. Then the bubble burst and I was too disillusioned… Disillusioned!”

“FIGARO. I’d say that the nonsense that finds its way into print only matters to the people who would like to ban it; that without the freedom to criticize, praise is meaningless”

“COUNT. The fact is, when you start losing your temper, even the most tightly controlled imagination will run wild, just as it does in dreams.”

“SUZZANE. If our play of the Follies of a Day, Has something serious to say, It is that folly must have its season To give a human face to reason.”

“ROSINE. What gives you the right? BARTHOLO. The oldest right in the world: the right of the strong.”

“OLD YOUTHFUL [sneezing]. But sir, it’s not fair. Where’s the justice… BARTHOLO. Justice! Ignorant clods like you can go on and on about justice. But I’m your master and that means I’m always right! OLD YOUTHFUL [sneezing]. But if a thing is true… BARTHOLO. If something’s true! If I don’t want a thing to be true, it isn’t true by my say-so. If you let any Tom, Dick, or Harry be right, you’d soon see what’s to become of authority and discipline!”

“FIGARO. The way I see it, sir, a man can only choose between being stupid or mad.”

“FIGARO. The guiltiest have the hardest hearts. ’Twas ever thus.”

“FIGARO. Scared? Nonsense! That’s no way to think, Madame. If you give in to the fear of consequences, you’re already living with the consequences of fear.”

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Book Keywords:

figaro, discipline, hamlet, criticism, fear, will-to-power, praise, folly, psychoanalysis, stupid, guilty, master, imagination, sympathy, unconsciousness, power, temper, justice, authority, consciousness, don-quixote, censorship, human-mind, irrational, strong, consequence, freedom, carnivalesque, persona, amorality, mad, individualism

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