William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''I had rather have a fool to make me merry than experience to make me sad—and to travel for it too!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Rosalind, in As You Like It, act 4, sc. 1, l. 27-9. To Jaques, who has been defining his particular melancholy.
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  • ''Sweet love, I see, changing his property,
    Turns to the sourest and most deadly hate.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Sir Stephen Scroop, in Richard II, act 3, sc. 2, l. 135-6. To Richard, who has been cursing his former favorites; "property" means distinctive nature.
  • ''Good morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is past;
    Begin these woodbirds but to couple now?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Theseus, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 4, sc. 1, l. 139-40. Birds were proverbially supposed to choose their mates on St. Valentine's Day, February 14.
  • ''A fish, he smells like a fish; a very ancient and fish-like smell.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Trinculo, in The Tempest, act 2, sc. 2, l. 25-6. Finding a strange creature (Caliban) on Prospero's island.
  • ''O how wretched
    Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favors!
    There is betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
    More pangs and fears than wars or women have;
    And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
    Never to hope again.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Wolsey, in Henry VIII, act 3, sc. 2, l. 366-372. comparing himself to Lucifer, the brightest angel, who fell from heaven to hell (Isaiah, 14.12).
  • ''The time was once, when thou unurged wouldst vow
    That never words were music to thine ear,
    That never object pleasing in thine eye,
    That never touch well welcome to thy hand,
    That never meat sweet-savored in thy taste,
    Unless I spake, or looked, or touched, or carved to thee.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Adriana, in The Comedy of Errors, act 2, sc. 2, l. 113-8. She thinks she speaks to her straying husband, but in fact to his twin, Antipholus of Syracuse.
  • ''When thou once
    Was beaten from Modena, where thou slew'st
    Hirtius and Pasa, consuls, at thy heel
    Did famine follow, whom thou fought'st against,
    Thou daintily brought up, with patience more
    Than savages could suffer. Thou didst drink
    The stale of horses and the gilded puddle
    Which beasts would cough at. Thy palate then did deign
    The roughest berry on the rudest hedge.
    Yea, like the stag, when snow the pasture sheets,
    The barks of trees thou browsed. On the Alps
    It is reported thou didst eat strange flesh,
    Which some did die to look on.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Antony and Cleopatra (I, iv). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
  • ''What should we speak of
    When we are old as you? When we shall hear
    The rain and wind beat dark December, how,
    In this our pinching cave, shall we discourse
    The freezing hours away?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Arviragus, in Cymbeline, act 3, sc. 3, l. 35-9. On growing up in remotest Wales.
  • ''What, my dear Lady Disdain! Are you yet living?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Benedick, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 1, sc. 1, l. 118-9. His first, mocking, words to Beatrice.
  • ''There is a tide in the affairs of men
    Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
    Omitted, all the voyage of their life
    Is bound in shallows and in miseries.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Brutus, in Julius Caesar, act 4, sc. 2, l. 272-5 (1623).

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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 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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