to thine own self be true

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From a monologue delivered by the character Polonius in Act I Scene III of Hamlet by William Shakespeare.


to thine own self be true

  1. Be yourself; be true to yourself; do not engage in self-deception.
    • c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene iii]:
      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.
    • 1977, Robert P Marinelli, Arthur E. Dell Orto, editors, The Psychological and Social Impact of Physical Disability, Springer Publishing Co., →ISBN, page 306:
      "To thine own self be true," I saw, was what produced vitality, confidence, and genuine expression in one's interpersonal relations.
    • 1986 August, Gary Diedrichs, “Bewitched”, in Orange Coast:
      Know thyself. To thine own self be true. For the man or woman who can confront the demon within, there is a hopeful prognosis.
    • 1995, Paula C. Rust, Bisexuality and the Challenge to Lesbian Politics: Sex, Loyalty, and Revolution, New York University Press, published 1995, →ISBN, page 51:
      Several of these women said simply, "to each her own," while others like Sue were only slighty more verbose: "Each of us has a right and a responsibility 'to thine own self be true.' Another person's sexual preference is not my business or concern."
    • 2004, James M. Morris, Andrea L. Kross, Historical Dictionary of Utopianism, Scarecrow Press, published 2004, →ISBN, page 262:
      "To thine own self be true" whatever the consequences was taken as the principle of true freedom and humanity by the romantics.
    • 2012, Mark D. White, “The Sound and the Fury Behind 'One More Day'”, in Jonathan J. Sanford, editor, Spider-Man and Philosophy: The Web of Inquiry, John Wiley & Sons, →ISBN, page 241:
      As Shakespeare wrote, "To thine own self be true," at least according to what kind of person you believe yourself to be.