But small to greater matters must give way.
 William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra (1623). copy citation

Author William Shakespeare
Source Antony and Cleopatra
Topic priority
Date 1623
Language English
Reference Antony and Cleopatra, Act II, Scene 2
Note Written between 1603 and 1607 Lepidus line
Weblink http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/1534/pg1534-images.html


Were I the wearer of Antonius' beard, I would not shave't to-day. LEPIDUS. 'Tis not a time For private stomaching. ENOBARBUS. Every time Serves for the matter that is then born in't. LEPIDUS. But small to greater matters must give way. ENOBARBUS. Not if the small come first. LEPIDUS. Your speech is passion: But, pray you, stir no embers up. Here comes
The noble Antony. [Enter ANTONY and VENTIDIUS.]

Meaning and analysis

Kwize Master While Lepidus tries to convince Enobarbus to temper Antony in his difficult personal relationship with Caesar, Lepidus argues that problems should be prioritized in terms of importance, and that person conflicts should be left in the background. Enobarbus retorts that he prefers to treat problems in the order in which they arise. This evokes the famous Eisenhower matrix (named after the 34th President of the United States), which states that the importance of a problem should take priority over its urgency.
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