William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''In the dead waste and middle of the night.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Horatio, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 2, l. 198. The time when Horatio saw the ghost of Hamlet's father; the waste (barren period), waist (middle), and perhaps vast (emptiness).
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  • ''A soldier's a man,
    O, man's life's but a span,
    Why then, let a soldier drink.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 2, sc. 3, l. 71-3. A "span" is literally a hand's breadth from thumb to little finger; here a short time, as in 38:5 (Book of Common Prayer); the phrase "life's but a span" became proverbial.
  • ''O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
    Deny thy father and refuse thy name,
    Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
    And I'll no longer be a Capulet.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Juliet, in Romeo and Juliet, act 2, sc. 1, l. 75-8 (1599). Juliet continues, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose/By any other word would smell as sweet."
  • ''You have witchcraft in your lips, Kate. There is more
    eloquence in a sugar touch of them than in the tongues of
    the French council.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry V, act 5, sc. 2, l. 275-7. The French council negotiates for peace while Henry makes love.
  • ''Come, let's away to prison.
    We two alone will sing like birds i' the cage.
    When thou dost ask me blessing, I'll kneel down
    And ask of thee forgiveness. So we'll live,
    And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
    At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
    Talk of court news; and we'll talk with them too—
    Who loses and who wins; who's in, who's out—
    And take upon 's the mystery of things,
    As if we were God's spies; and we'll wear out,
    In a walled prison, packs and sects of great ones,
    That ebb and flow by the moon.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. King Lear (V, iii). to his daughter Cordelia when they are taken prisoners. OHFP. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
  • ''Do you not love me? do you not indeed?
    Well, do not then, for since you love me not,
    I will not love myself.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lady Percy, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 2, sc. 3, l. 96-8. To her husband; she is trying to get information out of him, and he says jokingly that he does not love her.
  • ''I speak not like a dotard nor a fool,
    As under privilege of age to brag
    What I have done being young, or what would do
    Were I not old.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Leonato, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 5, sc. 1, l. 59-62. Old Leonato is about to challenge young Claudio to a duel.
  • ''Come, seeling night,
    Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day,
    And with thy bloody and invisible hand
    Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond
    Which keeps me pale.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 3, sc. 2, l. 46-50. Night that "seels" or covers up (like stitching the eyelids of a hawk in order to tame it) is "bloody" because it provides concealment for murder; the "bond" is the obligation of love to all, as in Matthew 5:43-4, "do good to them which hate you."
  • ''He wears the rose
    Of youth upon him, from which the world should note
    Something particular.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Mark Antony, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 3, sc. 13, l. 19-21 (1623). Referring to Octavius Caesar.
  • ''We the globe can compass soon,
    Swifter than the wandering moon.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Oberon, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 4, sc. 1, l. 97-8. On the power of fairies to circle the earth in no time.

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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

All The World's A Stage

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in ...

Read the full of All The World's A Stage

Sonnet Cviii

What's in the brain that ink may character
Which hath not figured to thee my true spirit?
What's new to speak, what new to register,
That may express my love or thy dear merit?
Nothing, sweet boy; but yet, like prayers divine,
I must, each day say o'er the very same,
Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine,
Even as when first I hallow'd thy fair name.
So that eternal love in love's fresh case

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