William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''O miracle of men!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lady Percy, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 2, sc. 3, l. 33. Acclaiming Hotspur as the ideal man.
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  • ''Should all despair
    That have revolted wives, the tenth of mankind
    Would hang themselves.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Leontes, in The Winter's Tale, act 1, sc. 2, l. 198-200. Suspecting his own wife of adultery.
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  • ''Present fears
    Are less than horrible imaginings.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 3, l. 136-37 (1623). Macbeth muses on the Witches' prophesy that he will be king, "Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair And make my seated heart knock at my ribs Against the use of nature."
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  • ''One that loves a cup of hot wine with not a drop of allaying
    Tiber in't.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Menenius, in Coriolanus, act 2, sc. 1. 48-9. Portraying himself as a drinker, who prefers his wine undiluted (the Tiber is the river that flows through Rome).
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  • ''That, he awaking when the other do,
    May all to Athens back again repair,
    And think no more of this night's accidents
    But as the fierce vexation of a dream.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Oberon, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 4, sc. 1, l. 66-9. Planning to release the lovers and Bottom from the magic spell; "other" means others; "vexation" means affliction.
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  • ''When I have plucked the rose,
    I cannot give it vital growth again,
    It needs must wither. I'll smell it on the tree.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Othello, in Othello, act 5, sc. 2, l. 13-5. Desdemona is the rose he is about to pluck, or kill.
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  • ''Few love to hear the sins they love to act.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Pericles, in Pericles, sc. 1, l. 135 (1609).
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  • ''Thus hath the candle singed the moth.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Portia, in The Merchant of Venice, act 2, sc. 9, l. 79. On the Prince of Aragon's disappointment at choosing the wrong casket.
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  • ''Thou art inclined to sleep; 'tis a good dullness,
    And give it way.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prospero, in The Tempest, act 1, sc. 2, l. 185-6. Putting Miranda to sleep by his magic; "dullness" means drowsiness.
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  • ''So wise so young, they say, do never live long.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Richard, in Richard III, act 3, sc. 1, l. 79. Commenting on the clever talk of the young Prince Edward; reformulating a proverb, "to soon wise to live long."
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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 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;

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