Ancient Languages/Shakespeare phrase

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Question
Maria:

In your translation of the Shakespearean verse "To thine own self be true" is it permissible to shorten it to "Tibi fidelis" or would a latin speaker have expected the "ipsi esto"?

I am thinking of a famous motto "Semper fidelis" which I believe does not imply a verb - just an adverb and an adjective.

Thanks.

Answer
Hello,

actually "Semper fidelis” means “Always faithful”  used in a  broad sense, whereas  Shakespeare’s  verse "To thine own self be true" cannot be shortened  to "Tibi fidelis"  without “ipsi esto”,  just because “To thine own self be true” is a command/exhortation which requires the imperative “esto” (=be) as well as the dative “ipsi” (=own self) agreed with “tibi” (= to thine).

In short, “Tibi fidelis” generically means “To thine faithful” that does not correspond exactly to the sense of  "To thine own self be true”, i.e. Polonius' advice to his son Laertes  in Shakespeare’s Hamlet (Act I, scene III , line 78 ).

Best regards,
Maria
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Note that:

-to thine = TIBI  (dative of TU meaning 'you', personal pronoun, 2nd.person singular)

-own self =  IPSI (dative of the pronoun IPSE, own self)

-be = ESTO (imperative, 2nd.person singular, of the verb SUM, I am)

-true = FIDELIS (nominative singular of the adjective)

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Maria

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I am an expert in Latin & Ancient Greek Language and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning this matter.

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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I received my Ph.D. in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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