Fight fire with fire an injunction to counter like with like. The saying is recorded from the mid 19th century, but Shakespeare in Coriolanus (1608) has, ‘One fire drives out one fire, one nail one nail.’
fight or flight the instinctive physiological response to a threatening situation, which readies one either to resist forcibly or to run away.
he who fights and runs away, may live to fight another day an assertion of the value of knowing when to make a strategic withdrawal. A proverbial saying, mid 16th century; earlier in the writings of the Greek comic dramatist Menander (342–c. 292bc), ‘a man who flees will fight again.’ A Middle English variant is found in The Owl and the Nightingale (c.1250), ‘Wel fight that wel flight.’
see also that cock won't fight, fight one's corner, live to fight another day, fight tooth and nail.
Subjects: Theatre — Warfare and Defence.