William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''O yet for God's sake, go not to these wars!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lady Percy, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 2, sc. 3, l. 9. Hotspur's widow begs her father-in-law not to fight.
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  • ''She, O, she is fallen
    Into a pit of ink, that the wide sea
    Hath drops too few to wash her clean again
    And salt too little which may season give
    To her foul tainted flesh!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Leonato, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 4, sc. 1, l. 139-43. Believing his daughter to have been unchaste; "season give" means make sound again (literally, give relish to, like salt).
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  • ''I am settled, and bend up
    Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 7, l. 80-1. "Bend up" means brace every nerve in my body (from bringing a bow into tension); he is ready to murder Duncan (the "terrible feat").
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  • ''Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,
    Pray to the gods to intermit the plague
    That needs must light on this ingratitude.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Marullus, in Julius Caesar, act 1, sc. 1, l. 53-5. Addressing working men who have come to see Caesar, and have forgotten Pompey (hence their "ingratitude").
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  • ''That very time I saw (but thou couldst not)
    Flying between the cold moon and the earth
    Cupid all armed.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Oberon, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 2, sc. 1, l. 155-7. Speaking to Puck; the cold moon symbolizes chastity (the goddess Diana).
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  • ''All my fond love thus do I blow to heaven
    'Tis gone.
    Arise, black vengeance, from the hollow hell!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Othello, in Othello, act 3, sc. 3, l. 445-7. The turning point, as his love for Desdemona turns to hate.
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  • ''Yet cease your ire, you angry stars of heaven!
    Wind, rain, and thunder, remember earthly man
    Is but a substance that must yield to you.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Pericles, in Pericles, act 2, sc. 1, l. 1-3. Seeing the storm that has shipwrecked him as marking the anger of the heavens.
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  • ''By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is aweary of this great world.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Portia, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 2, l. 1-2. Portia's first words in the play.
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  • ''Thou shalt be as free
    As mountain winds; but then exactly do
    All points of my command.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prospero, in The Tempest, act 1, sc. 2, l. 499-501. Promising Ariel his liberty, but demanding obedience.
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  • ''A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Richard, in Richard III, act 5, sc. 7, l. 7 and 13 (1597). Richard's last words at the Battle of Bosworth.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

O Mistress Mine, Where Are You Roaming? (Twelfth Night, Act Ii, Scene Iii)

O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O stay and hear! your true-love's coming
That can sing both high and low;
Trip no further, pretty sweeting,
Journey's end in lovers' meeting-
Every wise man's son doth know.

What is love? 'tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What's to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty,-
Then come kiss me, Sweet and twenty,
Youth's a stuff will not endure.

Read the full of O Mistress Mine, Where Are You Roaming? (Twelfth Night, Act Ii, Scene Iii)

Sonnet Lxxvii

Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear,
Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste;
The vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear,
And of this book this learning mayst thou taste.
The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show
Of mouthed graves will give thee memory;
Thou by thy dial's shady stealth mayst know
Time's thievish progress to eternity.
Look, what thy memory can not contain

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