Friends and Flatterers – William Shakespeare


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.

Stanza 1

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 & Answers

  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.

Next – Stanza 2

Every man will be thy friend
Whilst thou hast wherewith to spend;
But if store of crowns be scant,
No man will supply thy want.

Meaning

  • Thy – Your
  • Whilst – While
  • Hast – Has
  • Wherewith – Money
  • Store of crowns – Money
  • Scant – Low
  • Supply – Give
  • Thy want – Your need

Questions & Answers

  1. When do we find ourselves surrounded by friends?
    We find ourselves surrounded by friends when we have wealth and money to spend for them.
  2. When do fake friends abandon us?
    Fake friends abandon us when we have spent our wealth. They stand with us as long as we have riches to spend for them.
  3. How does Shakespeare define flatterers?
    In Shakespeare’s words, flatterers are those people who pretend like our friends and praise us to please us. In fact they have no love for us. All they want is our money and company, not our love. When we become poor, they leave us and disappear. Their flattery will turn to blames.

Next – Stanza 3

Biju John is an educational writer, educator and the author of OM - The Otherwise Men. He gives live classes on Skype and Facebook. You can attend his 3 Day Classes (English & Business Studies) in Delhi, Bangalore, Qatar and Dubai. His Contact number is 91 9810740061.

Comments (3)

Leave a comment
    • Sh

    • August 29, 2017

    Its sensible

    • Pinky

    • December 13, 2017

    Good?☺

    • Vinita

    • December 14, 2017

    Awesome!

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