I am a great advocate for quoting Shakespeare (you may have noticed).
There is one thing that is unforgivable...quoting Shakespeare out of context. This happens to every author and is somewhat unavoidable, but taking something a character says and then forgetting that it is in a play and who says it and when, is dreadful.
One example is a few lines from King Lear. I love King Lear and although it's a sad story I do not think it a completely depressing and hopeless one. The lines so frequently quoted that we are only "the play-thing of the gods" are not the final words on the matter...
The famous quote "to thy own self be true" is rarely attributed to Polonius. Polonius' speech to Laertes has always been one to puzzle me. Polonius hardly seems like a voice of wisdom in the play as a whole. Much of his advice to his children seems legitimate, but other portions just leave you wondering on what exactly Shakespeare is trying to say.
Recently I've been thinking about citing references and being careful with quotes. Poor Shakespeare has come up rather frequently.
If we think about it, this is like saying Christopher McQuarrie and and Nathan Alexander actually believe "Any problem on Earth can be solved with the careful application of high explosives." or that William Goldman actually thinks that "Australia is entirely peopled with criminals".
I think this is partly why we get confused about who's who in Shakespeare and who in the world Shakespeare actually is and what he actually believed.
Thanks for reading,