While walking through aisle 2B in my local grocery store (Was it 2B? I can't remember), I looked up and spotted the Shakespeare quote pictured above:
I'll be quite honest. I didn't recognize the quotation—until I looked it up—and when I did, I began to wonder about its appropriateness (even though it's not from Titus Andronicus)."My life, my joy, my food . . . " william shakespeare
The quote comes from King John. Constance, the mother of Arthur, delivers these incredibly sad and moving lines after his death:
I'm all for incorporating Shakespeare into all aspects of life—even grocery shopping—but the context of the speech is radically different from the store's use of the quote. Constance is bemoaning the fact that her very life, her spirit's joy, her soul's food is gone forever.Grief fills the room up of my absent child,
Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me,
Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form;
Then, have I reason to be fond of grief?
Fare you well: had you such a loss as I,
I could give better comfort than you do.
I will not keep this form upon my head,
When there is such disorder in my wit.
O Lord! my boy, my Arthur, my fair son!
My life, my joy, my food, my all the world!
My widow-comfort, and my sorrows' cure! (III.iv.93-105)
On the other hand, the quotation lists things that are important ingredients (sorry—an inadvertent pun, I assure you) to a happy life—while suggesting that the product the store sells is the life and the joy the quote speaks about.
Do you all have any thoughts on the subject or other examples of Shakespeare out of context?