zenpundit.com » Blog Archive » Sunday surprise — Pascal, Shakespeare, you and me

Sunday surprise — Pascal, Shakespeare, you and me

[ by Charles Cameron — wondering whether Pascal was imitating or poorly recalling Shakespeare, plagiarizing or merely GMTA? ]


Try these three on for size!


Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

Star Trek


Pascal in the original French:

Quelle chimère est-ce donc que l’homme? quelle nouveauté, quel monstre, quel chaos, quel sujet de contradictions, quel prodige? Juge de toutes choses, imbécile ver de terre, dépositaire du vrai, cloaque d’incertitude et d’erreur, gloire et rebut de l’univers. Qui démêlera cet embrouillement? La nature confond les pyrrhoniens, et la raison confond les dogmatiques.

Have a chimerical day!


4 Responses to “Sunday surprise — Pascal, Shakespeare, you and me”

  1. Scott Says:


    May I also suggest, Psalm 8?

    “what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?[c]…”

  2. Charles Cameron Says:

    Oh, excellent, thank you!

  3. Dave Schuler Says:

    Scott beat me to it. My answer would have been that both are paraphrasing a third work and Psalm 8 is a good candidate.

  4. Dave Schuler Says:

    Also while there is evidence that both Shakespeare and Pascal were familiar with Montaigne’s Essays I know of no evidence that Pascal was familiar with the works of Shakespeare.

Switch to our mobile site