Shakespeare's Famous Quotes

"Neither be a borrower nor a lender be..."

In the beginning of Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Polonius says to his son, Laertes, "Neither be a borrow nor a lender be..."(Act 1, Scene 3, Line 75). Polonius and Laertes are at home in Elsinore saying their goodbyes before Laertes leaves for school in France. Polonius takes the opportunity and begins giving Laertes a list of advice to consider while he is away. He gives the advice with fatherly love and affection, showing their father-son relationship. This will come in handy when Polonius is killed by Hamlet and Laertes plans to take immediate action due to the love he has for his father. The quote itself means to not borrow money from anyone and never let anyone borrow money from you. In more depth meaning, don't use anything you can't repay and don't expect people to remember a kindness and repay you because there is a chance that they will not. This is very good advice in general and displays Polonius' caring nature towards Laertes.