William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Thou art an elm, my husband, I a vine,
    Whose weakness, married to thy stronger state,
    Makes me with thy strength to communicate.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Adriana, in The Comedy of Errors, act 2, sc. 2, l. 174-6. The image of the vine embracing the elm is proverbial.
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  • ''His legs bestrid the ocean; his reared arm
    Crested the world; his voice was propertied
    As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends;
    But when he meant to quail and shake the orb,
    He was as rattling thunder. For his bounty,
    There was no winter in 't; an autumn it was
    That grew the more by reaping. His delights
    Were dolphinlike; they showed his back above
    The element they lived in. In his livery
    Walked crowns and crownets; realms and islands were
    As plates dropped from his pocket.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Antony and Cleopatra (V, ii). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''Security gives way to conspiracy.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Artemidorus, in Julius Caesar, act 2, sc. 3, l. 7-8. The soothsayer's message, but Caesar is too busy to look at it.
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  • ''One woman is fair, yet I am well; another is wise, yet I am well; another virtuous, yet I am well; but till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Benedick, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 2, sc. 3, l. 26-30. Rejecting the idea of loving a woman.
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  • ''Let our hearts, as subtle masters do,
    Stir up their servants to an act of rage
    And after seem to chide 'em. This shall make
    Our purpose necessary, and not envious;
    Which so appearing to the common eyes,
    We shall be called purgers, not murderers.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Brutus, in Julius Caesar, act 2, sc. 1, l. 175-80. "Servants" means bodily agents; "envious" means malicious; he is trying to make the murder of Caesar look like a sacrifice.
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  • ''Such men as he be never at heart's ease
    Whiles they behold a greater than themselves,
    And therefore are they very dangerous.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Caesar, in Julius Caesar, act 1, sc. 2, l. 208-10. Referring to Cassius.
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  • ''He is superstitious grown of late,
    Quite from the main opinion he held once
    Of fantasy, of dreams, and ceremonies.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cassius, in Julius Caesar, act 2, sc. 1, l. 195-7. Claiming that Caesar has changed his basic opinion about things imagined ("fantasy"), dreams, and divination based on ceremonial rites.
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  • ''Fie, 'tis a fault to heaven,
    A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
    To reason most absurd, whose common theme
    Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried,
    From the first corse till he that died today,
    "This must be so."''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Claudius, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 2, l. 101-6. Trying to persuade Hamlet against persisting in mourning for his father's death; "first corse" means first corpse, Abel, murdered by his brother Cain (Genesis 4).
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  • ''Custom calls me to't.
    What custom wills, in all things should we do't,
    The dust on antique time would lie unswept,
    And mountainous error be too highly heaped
    For truth to o'erpeer.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Coriolanus, in Coriolanus, act 2, sc. 3, l. 117-21. Coriolanus hates following the custom that requires him to solicit votes from the citizens of Rome for election as consul; if we obey custom, he says ("should we do't"), nothing would ever change.
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  • ''Thou wilt be like a lover presently
    And tire the hearer with a book of words.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Don Pedro, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 1, sc. 1, l. 306-7. To Claudio, who waxes lyrical in praise of Hero, the woman he wants to marry.
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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 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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