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One of Shakespeare's famous quote:

 “I drink to the general joy of the whole table”.

Does general joy here mean the joy of all the people sitting at the table?

It's only a guess.

What's the opinion of the native speakers?

1 Answer 1

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Yes, that's what it means.

Macbeth is drinking a toast to the happiness of people at the table in general, and to Banquo (who is absent, since Macbeth has (spoiler warning) murdered him)

It's Shakespeare, and not modern English. So don't use this as an example of how to offer a toast (unless you want to deliberately make people think you've murdered your absent best friend)

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  • I could say that I undressed at a business meeting, to the general surprise of the attendees, without being thought archaic. Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 15:13
  • They'd probably not be too concerned with matters of English style in that situation!
    – James K
    Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 19:42

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