William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Give the devil his due.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Orleans, in Henry V, act 3, sc. 7, l. 116-7. Orleans and the Constable of France swap proverbs; even the Devil may deserve some credit.
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  • ''O world, world! thus is the poor agent despised. O traitors and bawds, how earnestly are you set a-work, and how ill requited! Why should our endeavour be so loved, and the performance so loathed?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Pandarus, in Troilus and Cressida (Quarto edition), act 5, sc. 10.
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  • ''Brevity is the soul of wit.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Polonius, in Hamlet, act 2, sc. 2, l. 90. Reporting to Claudius and Gertrude, Polonius ironically is tediously long-winded himself; "wit" means wisdom.
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  • ''One for superfluity, and another for use.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince Hal, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 2, sc. 2, l. 17-8. Mockingly suggesting a spare clean shirt is superfluous, more than his friend Poins needs.
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  • ''Quince. Marry, our play is "The most lamentable comedy and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisbe."
    Bottom. A very good piece of work, I assure you, and a merry.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Quince and Bottom, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 1, sc. 2, l. 11-14. Shakespeare was mocking a fashion for elaborate titles that confounded genres, such as the "Tragical Comedy of Apius and Virginia" (1575).
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  • ''Rosalind. There's a girl goes before the priest, and
    certainly a woman's thought runs before her actions.
    Orlando. So do all thoughts, they are winged.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Rosalind and Orlando, in As You Like It, act 4, sc. 1, l. 139-42.
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  • ''I am not bid for love, they flatter me.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Shylock, in The Merchant of Venice, act 2, sc. 5, l. 13. On being invited to eat supper with Christians.
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  • ''Thy jealous fits
    Have scared thy husband from the use of wits.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. The Abbess, in The Comedy of Errors, act 5, sc. 1, l. 85-6. To Adriana, whose reproaches have supposedly driven her husband Antipholus mad.
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  • ''I will be here again, even with a thought.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Titinius, in Julius Caesar, act 5, sc. 3, l. 19. Reporting to Cassius on the state of the battle.
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  • ''This fellow is wise enough to play the fool,
    And to do that well craves a kind of wit.
    He must observe their mood on whom he jests,
    The quality of persons, and the time,
    Not, like the haggard, check at every feather
    That comes before his eye. This is a practice
    As full of labor as a wise man's art.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Viola, in Twelfth Night, act 3, sc. 1, l. 60-6. Recognizing that the Fool (Feste) may be wise; "quality" means rank or nature; a "haggard" was an untrained hawk.
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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 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

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