William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
    A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
    The graves stood tenantless and the sheeted dead
    Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Horatio, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 1, l. 113-6. The apparition of the dead King Hamlet suggests some impending calamity, like portents before the assassination of Julius Caesar.
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  • ''If thou survive my well-contented day
    When that churl death my bones with dust shall cover,
    And shalt by fortune once more re-survey
    These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover;
    Compare them with the bettering of the time,
    And though they be outstripped by every pen,
    Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme
    Exceeded by the height of happier men.
    Oh, then vouchsafe me but this loving thought—
    \'Had my friend's Muse grown with this growing age,
    A dearer birth than this his love had brought,
    To march in ranks of better equipage:
    But since he died, and poets better prove,
    Theirs for their style I'll read, his for his love.'''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. If thou survive my well-contented day (l. 1-14). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''All my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay,
    And follow thee my lord throughout the world.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Juliet, in Romeo and Juliet, act 2, sc. 2, l. 147-8. Offering to marry Romeo.
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  • ''A good soft pillow for that good white head
    Were better than a churlish turf of France.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry V, act 4, sc. 1, l. 14-5. Addressing the old soldier Erpingham.
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  • ''Have more than thou showest,
    Speak less than thou knowest,
    Lend less than thou owest,
    Ride more than thou goest,
    Learn more than thou trowest,
    Set less than thou throwest;
    Leave thy drink and thy whore,
    And keep in-a-door,
    And thou shalt have more
    Than two tens to a score.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. King Lear (I, iv). OHFP. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''Then join you with them like a rib of steel,
    To make strength stronger.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lady Percy, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 2, sc. 3, l. 54-5.
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  • ''Is whispering nothing?
    Is leaning cheek to cheek? Is meeting noses?
    Kissing with inside lip? Stopping the career
    Of laughter with a sigh?—a note infallible
    Of breaking honesty.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Leontes, in The Winter's Tale, act 1, sc. 2, l. 284-8. Evidence to him that his wife's chastity ("honesty") is suspect; "career" means full gallop.
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  • ''Pity, like a naked, new-born babe
    Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubins, horsed
    Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
    Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
    That tears shall drown the wind.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 7, l. 21-5. In Psalm 18:10 (Book of Common Prayer), God "rode upon the cherubins and did fly; he came flying upon the wings of the wind"; "sightless" means invisible.
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  • ''His nature is too noble for the world;
    He would not flatter Neptune for his trident,
    Or Jove for's power to thunder.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Menenius, in Coriolanus, act 3, sc. 1, l. 254-6. On Coriolanus, praising him for being inflexible.
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  • ''I do not much dislike the matter, but
    The manner of his speech.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Octavius Caesar, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 2, sc. 2.
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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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