Using Lines from Shakespeare as Epigraphs

I like to use epigraphs in my novels. They are quotations from writers who have said something directly applicable to my story–and said it perfectly. Shakespeare’s lines are epigraphs in two novels: Their Proud Hoofs (formerly The Case of the Three Dead Horses) and He Trots the Air.  Here are the epigraphs. You’ll notice that I’ve used parts of them as book titles also. Both are from Henry V: “Think when we talk of horses that you see them/Printing their proud hoofs i’ the receiving earth.” And “When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk; he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it . . .”   “It is clear that the horse was one of Shakespeare’s favorite animals. His appreciation of the grace, strength and loyalty of horses is evident in the care he took to name so many of the horses mentioned in the plays — Barbary, Capilet, Dobbin, Surrey, Galathe, Curtal — and in the intense feelings horses kindle in his characters.” (Shakespeare-online.com.) If you have a new horse with no name yet, Shakespeare won’t mind if you borrow one of his.


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