I once posted a question in this forum asking what is the counterpart saying to Japanese proverb, “There’s no wild pig larger than the mountain (from where it emerges)” and am thankful for receiving many answers from users.

Today I found the quote from Shakespeare’s work to the effect of “It’s not yet the worst when you are saying you are in worst situation” in “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” a columnist’s column of the Asahi newspaper. The essay simply says it from Shakespeare, and doesn’t show English text of the phrase, nor what part of Shakespeare’s work it came from.

After experiencing the M-9 earthquake and tsunami that devastated coastal and inland area of Eastern Japan, and watching many people going through tough time before our eys, I keep telling myself and others, “My heart goes out to you, but believe me, “There’s no wild pig larger than the mountain.”

Can somebody tell me the exact wording, and what work of Shakespeare this axiom quoted in “the Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” came from?

1 Answer 1


I'll hazard a guess that it's from King Lear:

"And worse I may be yet: the worst is not So long as we can say 'This is the worst."

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    Thank you very much for quick answer. Can you tell me one more question: Is this line of King Lear made in positive way as our "Tere's no wild pig bigger than the mountain" or negative (or pessimistic way anticipating worse scenario? Commented May 23, 2011 at 1:04
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    @Yoichi Oishi: I think Shakespeare's line isn't exactly positive or negative. It's just a memorable way of pointing out that if we're able to complain about our current state, we must at least be still alive. In that particular context I'm sure he's contrasting this with being dead, when we couldn't complain. In other contexts, such as Hamlet's sleep, perchance to dream when contemplating death, such matters are evaluated differently. Commented May 23, 2011 at 2:01
  • @FumbleFingers +1 for using perchance in a comment :) Commented May 23, 2011 at 3:40
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    @FumbleFingers I always thought this was positive, along the lines of "Where there's life, there's hope."
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Commented May 23, 2011 at 12:27
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    @Kit: Depends how you look at it, I suppose. But that potentially uplifting viewpoint does come in the same sentence as the somewhat grim and foreboding worse I may be yet. If he'd said worse I could be that would certainly make me see it your way, but as it is... Anyway, full marks to @pageman for fishing it out. Great quote, however you read it. Commented May 23, 2011 at 15:46

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