Quotations From WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
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Take but degree away, untune that string,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Ulysses, in Troilus and Cressida, act 1, sc. 3, l. 109-10, 116-24. Ulysses' vision of anarchy if social ranks and hierarchy are done away with.
And hark what discord follows!
Force should be right, or, rather, right and wrong
Between whose endless jar justice resides
Should lose their names, and so should justice too.
Then everything includes itself in power,
Power into will, will into appetite;
And appetite, an universal wolf,
So doubly seconded with will and power,
Must make perforce an universal prey,
And last eat up himself.
To feed were best at home;William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 3, sc. 4, l. 34-6. "From thence" means away from home.
From thence, the sauce to meat is ceremony;
Meeting were bare without it.
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If I can cross him any way, I bless myself every way.William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Don John, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 1, sc. 3, l. 67-8. Referring to Claudio, whom he hates; "cross" means thwart, punning also on making the sign of the cross, so leading into "bless."
Miranda. My husband, then?William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Ferdinand and Miranda, in The Tempest, act 3, sc. 1, l. 89-90. The marriage bond for these lovers becomes paradoxically their freedom.
Ferdinand. Ay, with a heart as willing
As bondage e'er of freedom. Here's my hand.
Miranda. And mine, with my heart in 't.
I count myself in nothing else so happyWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Bolingbroke, in Richard II, act 2, sc. 3, l. 46-7.
As in a soul remembering my good friends.
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He hath achieved a maidWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cassio, in Othello, act 2, sc. 1, l. 61-3. The maid is Desdemona, who surpasses ("paragons") description, and goes beyond the witty conceptions ("quirks") of those who would proclaim her beauty ("blazon" is a term from heraldry, meaning originally a shield or badge).
That paragons description and wild fame;
One that excels the quirks of blazoning pens.
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Titania. What, wilt thou hear some music, my sweet love?William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Titania and Bottom, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 4, sc. 1, l. 27-9. Bottom's idea of music is to play on metal tongs and bone clappers.
Bottom. I have a reasonable good ear in music. Let's have the tongs and the bones.
He must be taught, and trained, and bid go forth:William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Antony, in Julius Caesar, act 4, sc. 1, l. 35-9. On Lepidus, the third member of the triumvirate ruling Rome as one whose attention is taken by curiosities, tricks and copying fashions that are already obsolete.
A barren-spirited fellow; one that feeds
On objects, arts, and imitations,
Which, out of use and staled by other men,
Begin his fashion.
Thieves for their robbery have authorityWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Angelo, in Measure for Measure, act 2, sc. 2, l. 175-6.
When judges steal themselves.
Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Romeo, in Romeo and Juliet, act 1, sc. 1. A fanciful definition of love: if the "fume" or smoke of sighs is removed, a lover's eyes sparkle; if it is stirred up, tears are provoked.
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes,
Being vexed, a sea nourished with lovers' tears.
What is it else? A madness most discreet,
A choking gall and a preserving sweet.
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