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Friends and Flatterers – William Shakespeare

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Friends and Flatterers – William Shakespeare

Summary & Notes

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  • People who flatter us all the time are not real friends. They flatter us to receive our favors.
  • When we have money and power, they will stand with us but when we have nothing left, they will disappear.
  • The real friend is the one who stand with us in our ups and downs but flatterers stand with us only when we stand.
  • So let’s be careful about choosing friends. Let’s befriend true friends.

Every one that flatters thee
Is no friend in misery.
Words are easy, like the wind;
Faithful friends are hard to find:

Meaning
  • Flatter – Praise
  • Thee – You
  • Misery – Struggle; trouble; pain; difficulty
  • Faithful – Committed; loyal
Questions
  1. Why shouldn’t we trust a flattering friend like a real friend?
    We should not trust a flattering friend primarily because a flatterer is not genuine. Such a friend should not be trusted because when we are through troubled times, he or she will not stand with us.
  2. Why are words compared to wind?
    Wind is aimless. It comes from one direction and leaves through another. Wind has no commitments. Like wind blows, some people give us hollow advice but they are not honest. They sound like the blowing wind but they do not make any sense.
  3. What do you mean by ‘a friend in misery?’
    A friend in misery is a real friend who stands with us in our good and bad times alike. True friendship is proved during troubled times because those who stand us to strengthen us during our bad days are real friends while others who used to praise us were never true.
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Biju John

Biju John is an educational writer, educator and the author of OM - The Otherwise Men.

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