Today is the opening of Romeo and Juliet! Yay. Don’t forget to come see the play sometime between April 6 – 21. It’s a love story that really wears its heart on its sleeve, which leads us to the theme of this Wordy Wednesday!
The phrase “I will wear my heart upon my sleeve” was first used by Iago, the charming evil villain in Shakespeare’s Othello. In this scene, he reveals that he is not loyal to Othello, although he pretends to be a devoted friend; he is really working towards his own “peculiar end.” According to Iago, honest men who share their feelings are easy prey for “daws to peck at.” It is safer to lie and hide your true intentions. Therefore, Iago says, “I am not what I am”. Rather than wear his heart openly, he is not what he appears.
It is as sure as you are Roderigo,
Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago.
In following him, I follow but myself;
Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,
But seeming so, for my peculiar end;
For when my outward action doth demonstrate
The native act and figure of my heart
In complement extern, ’tis not long after
But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
For daws to peck at. I am not what I am.