At some point in your life, you must have heard the words, Carpe Diem. These Latin words mean as much as Seize the day. Did you know, that these words are actually from a poem written by the Roman poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus also known as Horace? William Shakespeare used these words to write his poem Carpe Diem – part of the play “Twelfth-Night.”
It isn’t the first time that William Shakespeare turned to others for inspiration. Take for instance the play Romeo and Juliet. It was inspired by the Greek Tragedy of Pyramus and Thisbe. In his “Twelfth-Night” play, Shakespeare used the words of Horace. He wasn’t the only one to use these words. Al through history writers and poets have been inspired to write about these words. And why not? These are beautiful words. Unfortunately, we see only part of what Horace has written.
The full text should be “Carpe Diem, quam minimum credula posters.” When translated into English, it’s even more beautiful: “Seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow (the future).” In his work Odes – the words can be found in this work – Horace writes about how important it should be to know that the future isn’t clear. You shouldn’t rely on possibilities. There is a chance that something could go wrong at any moment. His advice is therefore very simple: live now, enjoy this day.
Shakespeare used the words of this Roman poet in his work “Twelfth-Night.” More about this play can be found on Wikipedia. In this act (Act II. Scene 3) he wants us to know that lovers will not stay young forever. But, this is Shakespeare. So there is a chance that there is a deeper meaning to all of this. In this case, well it’s just sex. Instead of seizing the day, you can also go for another option: plucking the day like a blossoming flower…
O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O stay and hear! your true-love’s coming
That can sing both high and low;
Trip no further, pretty sweeting,
Journey’s end in lovers’ meeting–
Every wise man’s son doth know.
What is love? ’tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What’s to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty,–
Then come kiss me, Sweet and twenty,
Youth’s a stuff will not endure.