William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Would he were fatter! But I fear him not.
    Yet if my name were liable to fear,
    I do not know the man I should avoid
    So soon as that spare Cassius.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Caesar, in Julius Caesar, act 1, sc. 2, l. 198-201. Caesar's name has become a symbol of domination, and seems to exist separately from the man.
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  • ''Our fathers' minds are dead,
    And we are governed with our mothers' spirits.
    Our yoke and sufferance show us womanish.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cassius, in Julius Caesar, act 1, sc. 3, l. 82-4. "Yoke and sufferance" means servitude and patient submission to it.
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  • ''O, my offense is rank, it smells to heaven,
    It hath the primal eldest curse upon't,
    A brother's murder.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Claudius, in Hamlet, act 3, sc. 3, l. 36-8. Left alone, Claudius confesses to his crime, alluding to Cain's slaughter of Abel (Genesis 4).
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  • ''Hear you this Triton of the minnows? Mark you
    His absolute "shall"?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Coriolanus, in Coriolanus, act 3, sc. 1, l. 89-90. Showing his contempt for Sicinius, a tribune of the people; Triton was a minor sea-god in ancient Greece.
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  • ''Don Pedro. She cannot endure to hear tell of a husband.
    Leonato. O, by no means; she mocks all her wooers out of suit.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Don Pedro and Leonato, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 2, sc. 1, l. 347-50. On Beatrice, whose intelligent mockery frightens away her suitors.
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  • ''I know a lady in Venice would have walked barefoot to Palestine for a touch of his nether lip.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Emilia, in Othello, act 4, sc. 3, l. 38-9.
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  • ''I am not only witty in myself, but the cause that wit is in
    other men.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 1, sc. 2, l. 9-10. In this play Falstaff becomes the butt of other men's wit.
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  • ''I will go root away
    The noisome weeds which without profit suck
    The soil's fertility from wholesome flowers.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gardener, in Richard II, act 3, sc. 4, l. 37-9.
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  • ''O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!
    The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's,eye, tongue, sword,
    Th' expectancy and rose of the fair state,
    The glass of fashion and the mold of form,
    Th' observed of all observers, quite, quite down!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Hamlet (III, i). NAWM-1. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''Thou art e'en as just a man
    As e'er my conversation coped withal.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 3, sc. 2, l. 54-5. His friend Horatio is as upright (just) a man as any he has had dealings with (coped withal).
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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 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?