William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''What if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord,
    Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff
    That beetles o'er his base into the sea,
    And there assume some other horrible form
    Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason,
    And draw you into madness?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Horatio, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 4, l. 69-74. Trying to persuade Hamlet not to follow his father's ghost, uncertain whether the spirit is good or evil; "deprive your sovereignty of reason" means make you lose control of your mind.
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  • ''I know our country disposition well;
    In Venice they do let God see the pranks
    They dare not show their husbands; their best conscience
    Is not to leave't undone, but keep't unknown.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 3, sc. 3, l. 202-4. Cynically suggesting Venetian women are all covert adulterers.
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  • ''Come weep with me, past hope, past cure, past help!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Juliet, in Romeo and Juliet, act 4, sc. 1, l. 45. Unable to see a way out of being forced to marry Paris, she turns to Friar Lawrence.
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  • ''The game's afoot.
    Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
    Cry, "God for Harry! England and Saint George!"''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry V, act 3, sc. 1, l. 32-4 (1600). Closing words of Henry's rousing speech to his army at Harfleur.
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  • ''Thou rascal beadle, hold thy bloody hand!
    Why dost thou lash that whore? Strip thine own back;
    Thou hotly lusts to use her in that kind
    For which thou whipp'st her. The usurer hangs the cozener.
    Through tattered clothes small vices do appear;
    Robes and furred gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold,
    And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks;
    Arm it in rags, a pygmy's straw does pierce it.
    None does offend, none, I say, none. I'll able 'em.
    Take that of me, my friend, who have the power
    To seal th' accuser's lips. Get thee glass eyes,
    And like a scurvy politician seem
    To see the things thou dost not.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. King Lear (IV, vi). OHFP. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''Speaking thick, which nature made his blemish,
    Became the accents of the valiant;
    For those that could speak low and tardily
    Would turn their own perfection to abuse
    To seem like him.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lady Percy, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 2, sc. 3, l. 24-8. Everyone tried to adopt Hotspur's impetuous ("thick") way of speaking.
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  • ''I pray thee, cease thy counsel,
    Which falls into mine ears as profitless
    As water in a sieve.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Leonato, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 5, sc. 1, l. 3-5. Refusing his brother's attempt to comfort him.
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  • ''Throw physic to the dogs! I'll none of it.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 5, sc. 3, l. 49. To the doctor who cannot cure his wife's disease of the mind.
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  • ''You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Marullus, in Julius Caesar, act 1, sc. 1, l. 35. To the working men who have forgotten Pompey and come out to greet Caesar.
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  • ''Yet marked I where the bolt of Cupid fell:
    It fell upon a little western flower,
    Before, milk-white; now purple with love's wound:
    And maidens call it "love-in-idleness."''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Oberon, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 2, sc. 1, l. 165-8. Describing how the arrow ("bolt") of Cupid falls on the pansy, and stains it the color of blood.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

Fear No More

Fear no more the heat o' the sun;
Nor the furious winter's rages,
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages;
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney sweepers come to dust.

Fear no more the frown of the great,
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke:
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning-flash,
Nor the all-dread thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy ...

Read the full of Fear No More

Sonnet Lxvi

Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And guilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,

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