Quotations From WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE


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  • Haply a woman's voice may do some good
    When articles too nicely urged be stood on.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Queen Isabel, in Henry V, act 5, sc. 2, l. 93-4. "Haply" means perhaps; she hopes to mediate if too much fuss is made about details of an agreement ("stood on" means insisted on).

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  • I did not think thee lord of such a spirit.
    Before, I loved thee as a brother, John,
    But now I do respect thee as my soul.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince Hal, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 5, sc. 4, l. 18-20. Praising his brother's courage.

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  • O that this blossom could be kept from cankers!
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Poins, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 2, sc. 2, l. 94-5. Referring to Falstaff's boy; cankers means corruption, from canker-worms that eat into blossoms.
  • But though I loved you well, I wooed you not;
    And yet, good faith, I wished myself a man,
    Or that we women had men's privilege
    Of speaking first.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cressida, in Troilus and Cressida, act 3, sc. 2, l. 126-9. Confessing she has long desired Troilus.

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  • Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile;
    So ere you find where light in darkness lies,
    Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Berowne, in Love's Labor's Lost, act 1, sc. 1, l. 77-9. Arguing that as too much light dazzles and makes the eye unable to see, so too much study only confuses the student.

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  • According to his virtue let us use him,
    With all respect and rites of burial.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Octavius, in Julius Caesar, act 5, sc. 5, l. 76-7. On the death of Brutus.

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  • Thou wast a pretty fellow when thou hadst no need to care for her frowning; now thou art an O without a figure. I am better than thou art now; I am a fool, thou art nothing.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Fool, in King Lear, act 1, sc. 4, l. 191-4. To King Lear, who has given his lands to his daughters; an O is nothing without another figure in front of it.
  • I have't. It is engendered. Hell and night
    Must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 1, sc. 3, l. 403-4. Exactly what evil Iago has in mind is not yet clear.

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  • The worst is not
    So long as we can say, "This is the worst."
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. King Lear (IV, i). OHFP. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
  • Alas, I am a woman friendless, hopeless!
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Queen Katherine, in Henry VIII, act 3, sc. 1, l. 80.

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