William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''O how full of briers is this working-day world!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Rosalind, in As You Like It, act 1, sc. 3, l. 11-2. Sighing for love, she finds the everyday world thorny.
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  • ''Your reasons at dinner have been sharp and sententious, pleasant without scurrility, witty without affection, audacious without impudency, learned without opinion, and strange without heresy.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Sir Nathaniel, in Love's Labor's Lost, act 5, sc. 1, l. 2-6. The curate praises the conversation of the pedant; "affection" = affectation; "without opinion" = without being opinionated.
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  • ''But earthlier happy is the rose distilled
    Than that which, withering on the virgin thorn,
    Grows, lives, and dies in single blessedness.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Theseus, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 1, sc. 1, l. 76-8. "Rose distilled" means literally distilled to perfume, but figuratively suggests marriage (and happiness on this earth).
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  • ''Do as adversaries do in law,
    Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Tranio, in The Taming of the Shrew, act 1, sc. 2, l. 276-7. Speaking to the other suitors for Baptista's daughters.
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  • ''Show his eyes and grieve his heart.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Witches, in Macbeth, act 4, sc. 1, 110. The show Macbeth demands will be painful to him.
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  • ''Therefore my age is as a lusty winter,
    Frosty, but kindly.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Adam, in As You Like It, act 2, sc. 3, l. 52-3.
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  • ''O sovereign mistress of true melancholy,
    The poisonous damp of night disponge upon me,
    That life, a very rebel to my will,
    May hang no longer on me. Throw my heart
    Against the flint and hardness of my fault,
    Which, being dried with grief, will break to powder
    And finish all foul thoughts. O Antony,
    Nobler than my revolt is infamous,
    Forgive me in thine own particular,
    But let the world rank me in register
    A master-leaver and a fugitive.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Antony and Cleopatra (IV, ix). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''Warble, child, make passionate my sense of hearing.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Armado, in Love's Labor's Lost, act 3, sc. 1, l. 1. Armado's absurd way of asking his page, Moth, to sing.
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  • ''I pray thee now, tell me for which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love with me?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Benedick, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 5, sc. 2, l. 59-61. To Beatrice.
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  • ''Our hearts you see not; they are pitiful;
    And pity to the general wrong of Rome—
    As fire drives out fire, so pity pity—
    Hath done this deed on Caesar.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Brutus, in Julius Caesar, act 3, sc. 1, l. 169-72. Defending the killing of Caesar as for the general good.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

A Fairy Song

Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire!
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours;
In those freckles live their savours;
I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.

Read the full of A Fairy Song

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