Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,
Whiles, like a puffed and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
And recks not his own rede.
- Hamlet (1.3.48-52), Ophelia to her brother, Laertes.
libertine ] one who has little moral restraint.
primrose path of dalliance ] i.e., the easy life; or, the pleasurable path of idleness.
recks not his own rede ] i.e., does not listen to his own advice.
Here Ophelia, as graciously as possible, tells Laertes to refrain from lecturing her on how to behave while ignoring his own advice. This is not the only time Shakespeare mentions the "primrose path" to destruction. Please see the Macbeth Glossary for more.
How to cite this article:
Mabillard, Amanda. Quick Quote: primrose path of dalliance Shakespeare Online. 20 Dec. 2009. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/quickquote/quickquotehamletprimrose.html >.
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