Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.
 William Shakespeare, Hamlet (1623). copy citation

Author William Shakespeare
Source Hamlet
Topic love doubt trust
Date 1623
Language English
Reference The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Act II, Scene 2
Note Written between 1599 and 1602 Lord Polonius line

Meaning and analysis

Kwize Master This line is from Hamlet’s love letter to Ophelia. It is read by Lord Polonius, Ophelia’s father, who is opposed to this idyll. Hamlet tries to bring Ophelia to consider his feelings as more truthful than the laws of Nature themselves. These laws of Nature were at that time challenged by the Copernican revolution. For 50 years, Copernicus and other astronomers have tried to build a model of the universe radically different from traditional beliefs, a model that we call today the heliocentric model. On the contrary, Hamlet’s love is not suffering from any uncertainty.
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edurle I find it interesting to compare these lines with the later Cartesian principle of “cogito ergo sum”. This can be seen as an emotional counterpart of the cogito, a kind of “amo ergo sum”. If we can doubt all physical realities, we cannot doubt the reality of feelings.
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