William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''I will play the swan,
    And die in music.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Emilia, in Othello, act 5, sc. 2, l. 247-8. Proverbially the swan sang before it died (hence "swansong").
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  • ''I have speeded hither with the very extremest inch of
    possibility.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 4, sc. 3, l. 34-5. Excusing himself for being late.
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  • ''Superfluous branches
    We lop away, that bearing boughs may live.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gardener, in Richard II, act 3, sc. 4, l. 63-4.
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  • ''To be, or not to be: that is the question:
    Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
    And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
    No more; and by a sleep to say we end
    The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
    That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
    Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep;
    To sleep; perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
    For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
    When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
    Must give us pause: there's the respect
    That makes calamity of so long life;''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Hamlet (V, i.). NAWM-1. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart,
    Absent thee from felicity awhile,
    And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain
    To tell my story.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 5, sc. 2, l. 346-9. As he lies dying, he prevents Horatio from committing suicide; Hamlet pleads with him to live on to tell the world the truth.
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  • ''But look, the morn in russet mantle clad
    Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastward hill.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Horatio, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 1, l. 166-7.
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  • ''There cannot be a pinch in death
    More sharp than this is.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Imogen, in Cymbeline, act 1, sc. 1, l. 130-1. On the banishment of Posthumus, her husband.
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  • ''Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day.
    It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
    That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear;
    Nightly she sings on yond pomegranate tree.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Juliet, in Romeo and Juliet, act 3, sc. 5, l. 1-4. To Romeo, who is anxious to get away at daybreak; "fearful" means anxious.
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  • ''Now sits the wind fair, and we will aboard.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry V, act 2, sc. 2, l. 12. Preparing to sail for France.
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  • ''My life I never held but as a pawn
    To wage against thine enemies' nor fear to lose it,
    Thy safety being motive.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. King Lear (I, i). OHFP. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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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