Shakespeare's Famous Quote
"Neither a borrower nor a lender be"
In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Polonius is talking to his son, Laertes, at the docks right before Laertes boards his ship back to Paris. Laertes has just finished giving his sister, Ophelia, advice and now he is receiving advice from Laertes. Some of the advice that Polonius gives his son is "Beware Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in, Bear ’t that th' opposèd may beware of thee. Give every man thy ear but few thy voice. Take each man’s censure but reserve thy judgment" (Act 1, Scene 3, Line 65-69). Polonius continues in a sagely tone, "Neither a borrower nor a lender be" (Act 1, Scene 3, Line 75). It means neither borrow nor lend money because lending money to friends causes resentment in relationships and borrowing money invites dangers. All the advice that Polonius gives Laertes reveals the affection between father and son and foreshadows that Laertes would be willing to avenge his father. A father's advice can seem trivial when first given but become cherished later in life.