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William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

Quotations

  • ''I am glad I was up so late, for that's the reason I was up
    so early.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cloten, in Cymbeline, act 2, sc. 3, l. 33-4. He has been gaming all night, and so was early enough to pay musicians to sing at sunrise to wake Imogen.
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  • ''I have told you enough of this. For my part I'll not meddle nor make no farther.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Pandarus, in Troilus and Cressida, act 1, sc. 1, l. 13-14. "Meddle nor make" was a proverbial phrase, "make" meaning "have anything to do with it"; he is refusing to help Troilus.
  • ''My chief humor is for a tyrant. I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in, to make all split.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Bottom, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 1, sc. 2, l. 29-30. "Humor" means inclination; "Ercles" is Bottom's corruption of Hercules; to "tear a cat" on the stage is to rant and bluster.
  • ''Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I ha' lost my reputation, I ha' lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cassio, in Othello, act 2, sc. 3.
  • ''There are many events in the womb of time which will be delivered.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 1, sc. 3, l. 369-70.
  • ''He uses his folly like a stalking-horse, and under the presentation of that he shoots his wit.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Duke Senior of Touchstone, in As You Like It, act 5, sc. 4.
  • ''They are as sick that surfeit with too much as they that starve with nothing. It is no mean happiness therefore to be seated in the mean.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Nerissa, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 2, l. 5-8. "In the mean" means between extremes of too much and too little.
  • ''I cannot be a man with wishing, therefore I will die a woman with grieving.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Beatrice, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 4, sc. 1, l. 322-3. Addressing Benedick, in the hope of persuading him to challenge Claudio.
  • ''There was never yet fair woman but she made mouths in a glass.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Fool, in King Lear, act 3, sc. 2, l. 35-6.
  • ''Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit, and lost without deserving.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 2, sc. 3, l. 268-70. "Imposition" means what is attributed to someone by other people.

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Sonnet CI

O truant Muse, what shall be thy amends
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dyed?
Both truth and beauty on my love depends;
So dost thou too, and therein dignified.
Make answer, Muse: wilt thou not haply say
'Truth needs no colour, with his colour fix'd;
Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay;
But best is best, if never intermix'd?'
Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb?

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