William Shakespeare Quotes
''I had rather have a fool to make me merry than experience to make me sadand 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.
''Sweet love, I see, changing his property,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.
Turns to the sourest and most deadly hate.''
''Good morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is past;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.
Begin these woodbirds but to couple now?''
''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 wretchedWilliam 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).
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.''
''The time was once, when thou unurged wouldst vowWilliam 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.
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.''
''When thou onceWilliam 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.
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.''
''What should we speak ofWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Arviragus, in Cymbeline, act 3, sc. 3, l. 35-9. On growing up in remotest Wales.
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?''
''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 menWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Brutus, in Julius Caesar, act 4, sc. 2, l. 272-5 (1623).
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.''
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A Fairy Song
Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire!
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours;
In those freckles live their savours;
I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed:
From where thou art why should I haste me thence?
Till I return, of posting is no need.
O, what excuse will my poor beast then find,
When swift extremity can seem but slow?
Then should I spur, though mounted on the wind;
In winged speed no motion shall I know:
Then can no horse with my desire keep pace;