William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''But, alas, to make me
    A fixèd figure for the time of scorn
    To point his slow unmoving finger at!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Othello, in Othello, act 4, sc. 2, l. 54-6. Imagining everyone will always point him out as a cuckold.
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  • ''Yet thou dost look
    Like Patience gazing on kings' graves, and smiling
    Extremity out of act.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Pericles, in Pericles, act 5, sc. 1, l. 137-9. On the sufferings of Marina; "smiling extremity out of act" = making extreme calamities seem as if they never happened.
  • ''When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Portia, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 2, l. 88-9. Describing her German suitor, who is often drunk.
  • ''Hast thou, which art but air, a touch, a feeling
    Of their afflictions, and shall not myself,
    One of their kind, that relish all as sharply
    Passion as they, be kindlier moved than thou art?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prospero, in The Tempest, act 5, sc. 1, l. 21-4. To Ariel, who has encouraged Prospero to have pity on his enemies.
  • ''Plead what I will be, not what I have been;
    Not my deserts, but what I will deserve.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Richard, in Richard III, act 4, sc. 4, l. 414-5. Begging Queen Elizabeth to plead on his behalf with her daughter for her hand in marriage.
  • ''I charge you, O men, for the love you bear to women (as I
    perceive by your simpering, none of you hates them), that
    between you and the women the play may please.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Rosalind, in As You Like It, epilogue, l. 14-7.
  • ''Men judge by the complexion of the sky
    The state and inclination of the day.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Sir Stephen Scroop, in Richard II, act 3, sc. 2, l. 194-5. His gloomy looks match the bad news he brings.
  • ''No doubt they rose up early to observe
    The rite of May.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Theseus, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 4, sc. 1, l. 132-3. May Day festivities in England involved going to the woods to gather flowers and bringing them, as symbolic of new life, into towns and villages (the play is nominally set in Greece).
  • ''Here's neither bush nor shrub to bear off any weather at all. And another storm brewing, I hear it sing i' the wind. Yond same black cloud, yond huge one, looks like a foul bombard that would shed his liquor. If it should thunder as it did before, I know not where to hide my head. Yond same cloud cannot choose but fall by pailfuls.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Trinculo, in The Tempest, act 2, sc. 2, l. 18-24. A "bombard" was a large leather container for liquor.
  • ''Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition,
    By that sin fell the angels; how can man then,
    The image of his maker, hope to win by it?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Wolsey, in Henry VIII, act 4, sc. 1, l. 440-2. Lucifer's sin is usually called pride, but he was ambitious too: "I will exalt my throne above the stars of God" (Isaiah, 14.13).

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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

All The World's A Stage

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in ...

Read the full of All The World's A Stage

Sonnet Lxvi

Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And guilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,

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