Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining Examples
"Every cloud has a silver lining" is a popular idiom, or phrase that has come to mean something more than the words that make it up. This phrase refers to more than just clouds and their outlines. When someone says "every cloud has a silver lining," they are referring to the idea that hope is apparent even in the most trying of times-or on the cloudiest of days.
The earliest reference to the idea of a cloud having a "silver lining" is in John Milton's "Comus":
I see ye visibly, and now believe
That he, the Supreme Good, to whom all things ill
Are but as slavish officers of vengeance,
Would send a glistering guardian, if need were
To keep my life and honour unassailed.
Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
I did not err; there does a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
And casts a gleam over this tufted grove.
The poet refers to a dark cloud with a silver lining in the night that is sent as a "glistering guardian" from "The Supreme Good." It is a symbol of hope against "all things ill." The silver lining is a metaphor for hope, even in the darkest situation. While the clouds may block the light of the sun, the light is still there and shines around the edges of the cloud, a symbol that the "life and honour" of the speaker are "unassailed."
This phrase is now common in our everyday language, and is used to encourage someone who is experiencing a difficult situation. If someone says, "every cloud has a silver lining," it is a way to encourage someone to look for the positives in every situation and to hold out hope for brighter days ahead.
Literary Terms Examples