Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Literary Tattoo # 2

Those of you who have been visiting this blog for a while will know I am a fan of tattoos, particuarly typographic and literary tattoos. I have added another to my modest, but growing, collection of ink.

The quote is from William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, my favourite of his plays. Shortly after Mercutio's famous Queen Mab speech in Act I scene IV Romeo tells Mercutio "Thou talk'st of nothing" to which Mercutio replies;

"True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain,
Begot of nothing but vain fantasy,
Which is as thin of substance as the air
And more inconstant than the wind, who woos
Even now the frozen bosom of the North
And, being angered, puffs away from thence,
Turning his side to the dew dropping South"

Mercutio is my favourite of Shakespeare's many characters. I love his wicked humour and sharp tongue, I also admire his courage and loyalty. The quote is very apt for me as I am a day dreamer who sometimes needs a reminder to keep his feet on the ground.



  1. I love your tattoo and wish I was brave to get a second one... alas, the pain was too much for me.

    I am not a big shakespeare fan (was tormented with too much of it in high school) but I would love to know what you understand by the last 4 lines which sort of confuse me?

  2. "I talk of dreams"... nice. :)

    I don't have enough courage to get a tattoo. I'm too fickle and would probably change my mind about the thing after a week!

    I wouldn't mind finding some nice temporary literary tattoos, though.

  3. awesome! Mercutio is a great character, one of the best.


  4. I love tattoos also, I have 4, hadn't thought of a literary one, that is excellent. Love it.

  5. I talk of dreams-- cool! Did you see the link to the literary tattoo book I posted on FB a few weeks ago? Maybe you are in the book! hahah

    I don't even have pierced ears but one of my lifelong friends is a local celebrity tattoo artist in Austin TX-- we have the best time when we get together but I'm sure people look at us and think-- WHAT?! hahahahaha

  6. @ Becky: I'm a fairly recent convert to Shakespeare. I saw the excellent 1996 Baz Luhrmann film and from there started reading the plays. I'm now hooked!

    I'm no expert but as far as I can tell Mercutio is comparing dreams to the wind as they are both inconsistent, insubstantial and fickle. The wind changes direction all the time without warning as can dreams :o)

    @ La Coccinelle: I don't like the experience of being tattooed but the pain is very bareable, just uncomfortable. I actually have a needle phobia but I find the more you get tattooed the less of an issue it is. A few minutes of discomfort Is worth it for a piece of art that will be with you forever :o)

    @ Toni: Glad you agree, Mercutio does rock ;o)

    @ Marce: What 4 do you have? Would you consider getting a literary one done?

    @ Lesa: I have just noticed that link! It's books like that that first gave me the idea to get a literary tattoo. 'Body Type' 1 & 2 by Ina Saltz are very good too.


  7. I love the tat! I'm a huge Shakespeare fan and have thought about getting a second tattoo with a literary theme. The problem is narrowing it down to a single line.

  8. @ Avid Reader: I know exactly what you mean, I always keep a look out for meaningful quotes when I'm reading but it's difficult to find a single line. I guess the important thing is not to rush it, keep an eye out and eventually you will spot one!


  9. I LOVE literary tattoos! I am definitely considering getting one of my own.

  10. Awesome tattoo! Mercutio is one of my favorite characters of all time and I love where your tattoo is from.