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Brevity is the Soul of WitThe proverb 'brevity is the soul of wit' means that articulate and intelligent communication (speech and writing) should use few and wisely chosen words. It is associated with the play 'Hamlet,' by William Shakespeare.

In Shakespeare's day, 'wit' principally referred to intelligence, and the essence or soul of being intelligent is to convey your thoughts as briefly and efficiently as possible. Here is the context of the line:

LORD POLONIUS

This business is well ended.

My liege, and madam, to expostulate

What majesty should be, what duty is,

Why day is day, night night, and time is time,

Were nothing but to waste night, day and time.

Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,

And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,

I will be brief: your noble son is mad:

Mad call I it; for, to define true madness,

What is't but to be nothing else but mad?

But let that go.

(The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark Act 2, scene 2.)

It should also be noted that this phrase is very ironic in the context of the play, as Polonius is anything but brief in his long speeches.

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โˆ™ 2014-03-07 18:51:00
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Q: What does 'brevity is the soul of wit' mean?
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Related questions

What does brevity is a source of wit mean?

It means someone misheard the quotation, which is actually "brevity is the soul of wit."


What shakespeare play says brevity is the soul of wit?

"Brevity is the soul of wit" comes from William Shakespeare's Hamlet (act II, scene ii).


In which play did Shakespeare write brevity is the soul of wit?

"Brevity is the soul of wit" is a line from Hamlet, Act 2. It is said by Polonius, and it is ironic because although Polonius is saying that brevity is a virtue, it appears to be a virtue he does not posess. He is incapable of brevity, which by his maxim means he has very little wit.


What is the positive connotation for short?

Brevity is the soul of wit.


What is ironic about brevity is the soul of wit'?

The character who says it is long winded.


Who said this line 'Brevity is the soul of wit'?

The quotation is this:Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,I will be brief.It comes from the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, and is spoken by the character Polonius.


What Shakespeare play is this frombrerity is the soul of wit?

"Brevity is the soul of wit" is from Lord Polonious' speech in Shakespeare's Hamlet, in Act II, scene ii.


What Shakespeare play is this from brerity is the soul of wit?

"Brevity is the soul of wit" is from Lord Polonious' speech in Shakespeare's Hamlet, in Act II, scene ii.


What famous line from Shakespeare's Hamlet has to do with eliminating extra words?

Brevity is the soul of wit


What Shakespeare play does 'brevity is the soul of wit' come from?

Hamlet. Polonius says it in Act 2.


Which of William shakespeare's plays does the phrase 'brevity is the soul of wit' come from?

Hamlet, Act 2 Scene 2


What are different quotations from Shakespeares plays?

"Brevity is the soul of wit," and "Out, damned spot! out, I say!" are different quotations from Shakespeare's plays

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