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

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 Li

Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed:
From where thou art why should I haste me thence?
Till I return, of posting is no need.
O, what excuse will my poor beast then find,
When swift extremity can seem but slow?
Then should I spur, though mounted on the wind;
In winged speed no motion shall I know:
Then can no horse with my desire keep pace;