John Donne first wrote the words, "Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee." It is the last part of a longer passage in Mediation XVII of his "Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions."
The passage from which this quote is taken begins with another famous phrase: "No man is an island." It has to do with death and the interconnectedness of humanity. Some believe that it means that each time a person hears a funeral bell, he is that much closer to his own death. Others feel that the meaning is that humanity is all one, and when one person dies, a part of each living person dies as well.
Ernest Hemingway made "for whom the bell tolls" famous when he used the quote as the title of a book that is set during the Spanish Civil War. The entire passage appears in the book's epigraph.Learn More
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli wrote "The Prince" in 1513, but it was not published until 1532. Machiavelli wrote it in an attempt to gain favor with the powerful Medici family after he was jailed and politically exiled from Italian society in 1512.Full Answer >
Thomas More, who was born in 1478 and died in 1535, wrote the book "Utopia" in 1516. In addition to being a writer, More was known as a lawyer, philosopher and saint. He was actually credited for coining the word "utopia" as it applies to a political system.Full Answer >
The popular young adult novel "Divergent" was written by Veronica Roth. The screenplay for the film adapted from the novel was written by Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor.Full Answer >
"The Aeneid" was written by the Roman poet Vergil, sometimes spelled Virgil. Vergil was born in 70 B.C. He wrote "The Aeneid" during the last 10 years of his life, completing it shortly before his death in 19 B.C.Full Answer >