Tag Archives: Comedy

Killer Quotes – William Congreve on scorned women and the charms of music.

“Heav’n has no rage like love to hatred turn’d,
Nor hell a fury like a woman scorn’d

William Congreve – The Mourning Bride

This is a famously misquoted line from William Congreve’s play ‘The Mourning Bride‘ published in 1697. These are the final lines of Act III from the play.

The Mourning Bride also gives us another famous mondegreen in the very first line spoken.

“Music has charms to soothe a savage breast.

William Congreve – The Mourning Bride

This line is of course the basis for the commonly misquoted ‘Music has charms to soothe the savage beast.

Congreve was a favourite restoration playwrite who flourished between 1695 and 1700 and is also responsible for giving us the injunction ‘…you must not kiss and tell.‘  This line comes from one of his earlier comedies Love for Love written in 1695 – The Mourning bride is a tragedy.

A dream within a dream

The Princess Bride is one of my favourite all time movies for its wit, child like innocence, brilliant casting and multitude of cameo appearances but more than that it is a good story well told and has some of the best dialogue in movies bar none.  One of my favourite characterisations in The Princess Bride was Peter Cook’s hilarious role as ‘the impressive clergyman’ who officiated at the wedding ceremony for Prince Humperdink and Princess Buttercup.  His rendition of the marriage or should that be mawage ceremony has to go down as one of the most memorable and often quoted in movie history.  That can be said for this movie in general.  It has spawned all sorts of references in popular culture which is perhaps testament to the qualities referred to earlier.

Anyway, if you haven’t seen The Princess Bride you have been sadly deprived of a true entertainment treat and you should delay no longer in acquiring and viewing a copy.  If you have seen the Princess Bride then you already know what I’m talking about.

Today 9 January, in 1995 Peter Cook, one of my favourite comedians, passed away following a gastrointestinal haemorrhage directly associated with severe liver damage due to chronic alcohol abuse.  This abuse is abundantly clear and apparent if you have ever listened to any of his Derek & Clive material which he wrote and performed with Dudley Moore and which provide some of the funniest comedy I have ever heard.  Peter Cook left an indelible legacy on modern comedy.  When he died he was 57 years old.

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