Going To The Well Too Often

I wish I could think of these conversation starters during the day when everybody’s awake and not at 11pm on a Friday night when everybody’s gone for the weekend. Give your best example of Shakespeare using the same “bit” in multiple plays.  A “bit” is any sequence lengthy enough to be more than coincidence (“Ah me” or “by my troth”, for instance, don’t count). For instance, having heard it again in Much Ado that makes 3 different times I know Shakespeare used this joke: “Is that your daughter?” /  “Her mother told me she was.” Taming of the Shrew. The Tempest (where Prospero says it to his own daughter), and now Much Ado. Possibly more that I just haven’t spotted. This isn’t just “when does Shakespeare repeat a sequence,” but how often can you find where he does it? Can anybody find something that he repeats more than 3 times?

One thought on “Going To The Well Too Often

  1. The Latin phrase "Cucullus non facit monachum" (translation: the cowl does not make the monk) appears in both Twelfth Night and Measure for Measure, and an English version of the same phrase appears in Henry VIII.

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