The Mourning Bridetragedy in five acts by William Congreveproduced and published in Almeria is separated from her husband in a shipwreck, but they are reunited when Alphonso, in disguise, is captured by Manuel along with the manipulative Moorish queen Zara. Through a series of tragic machinations, Manuel is mistakenly executed by his own orders, Zara commits suicide, and Alphonso helps overthrow the government and publicly regains his bride.
Ingersoll Union United States Army officer - Context: I thank the great scientists—those who have reached the foundation, the bed-rock—who have built upon facts—the great scientists, in whose presence theologians look silly and feel malicious. The scientists never persecuted, never imprisoned their fellow-men. They forged no chains, built no dungeons, erected no scaffolds—tore no flesh with red hot pincers—dislocated no joints on racks—crushed no bones in iron boots—extinguished no eyes—tore out no tongues and lighted no fagots.
Literal meaning. That literal meaning is open to misinterpretation as this phrase is frequently written as 'music has charms to soothe the savage beast'. The phrase 'music has charms to sooth a savage breast' sounds Shakespearian but in fact comes to us from The Mourning Bridea poem by William Congreve, However, that isn't the end of the story as the commonly circulated 'music has charms to soothe a savage beast' can't be said to be entirely incorrect.
Music has charms to sooth a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak. William Congreve. Sign Up.
Many quotations attributed to famous people are at best paraphrases — though often superior to the original. Others might be subtly altered in the retelling, sometimes with little impact on their effect, at other times irresponsibly changing the meaning. We need not wait to see what others do.
There is nothing more unbecoming a man of quality than to laugh He that first cries out stop thief, is often he that has stolen the treasure. Courtship to marriage, as a very witty prologue to a very dull Play. Tho' marriage makes man and wife one flesh, it leaves 'em still two fools.
Two variations of this phrase are music calms the savage beast and music tames the savage beast. This idiom is actually a misquote of a line from the play The Mourning Bride from the year The British poet William Congreve wrote this originally as music hath charms to sooth a savage breast.
People misquote Shakespeare so often that he might well think no one actually reads him. Or perhaps he would be flattered, since so many pearls of wisdom by others are attributed to him. Last week, we discussed two frequently mangled phrases: gilding the lily and wherefore art. Those are but minor irritations when entire passages are misattributed.