William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''O! grief hath changed me since you saw me last,
    And careful hours with time's deformèd hand
    Have written strange defeatures in my face.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Egeon, in The Comedy of Errors, act 5, sc. 1, l. 298-300. Meeting Antipholus and Dromio of Ephesus, who do not recognize him; "defeatures" means disfigurement.
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  • ''A man can no more separate age and covetousness than 'a can
    part young limbs and lechery.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 1, sc. 2, l. 228-30.
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  • ''Full many a glorious morning have I seen
    Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye,
    Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
    Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy;''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Full many a glorious morning have I seen (l. 1-4). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''Guildenstern. The very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
    Hamlet. A dream itself is but a shadow.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Guildenstern and Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 2, sc. 2, l. 260-1. Guildenstern thinks Hamlet's problem may be ambition.
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  • ''I do not know
    Why yet I live to say, "This thing's to do,"
    Since I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
    To do't.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 4, sc. 4, l. 43-6. On his failure to carry out his revenge on Claudius.
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  • ''Such was the very armor he had on
    When he the ambitious Norway combated.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Horatio, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 1, l. 60-1. Speaking of the ghost which has just appeared in the likeness of the dead King of Denmark; "Norway" means King of Norway.
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  • ''It makes us, or it mars us, think on that,
    And fix most firm thy resolution.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 5, sc. 1, l. 4-5. "Makes or mars" was proverbial meaning succeed or be destroyed; to Roderigo, as they ambush Cassio.
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  • ''They are but beggars that can count their worth,
    But my true love is grown to such excess
    I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Juliet, in Romeo and Juliet, act 2, sc. 6, l. 32-4. To Romeo as they go off to be married; "sum up sum" means add up the total.
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  • ''I and my bosom must debate awhile,
    And then I would no other company.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry V, act 4, sc. 1, l. 31-2. Preparing himself for battle.
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  • ''When priests are more in word than matter;
    When brewers mar their malt with water;
    When nobles are their tailors' tutors,
    No heretics burned but wenches' suitors,
    Then shall the realm of Albion
    Come to great confusion.
    When every case in law is right,
    No squire in debt, nor no poor knight;
    When slanders do not live in tongues,
    Nor cutpurses come not to throngs;
    When usurers tell their gold i' the field,
    And bawds and whores do churches build,
    Then comes the time, who lives to see 't,
    That going shall be used with feet.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. King Lear (III, ii). OHFP. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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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 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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