William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''I rather tell thee what is to be feared
    Than what I fear; for always I am Caesar.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Caesar, in Julius Caesar, act 1, sc. 2, l. 211-2. Caesar thinks of himself as an embodiment of power, and his name has passed into dictionaries as such (compare German "Kaiser").
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  • ''When the cross blue lightning seemed to open
    The breast of heaven, I did present myself
    Even in the aim and very flash of it.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cassius, in Julius Caesar, act 1, sc. 3, l. 50-2. Boasting to Casca that he is not afraid of ominous storms.
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  • ''Thou still hast been the father of good news.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Claudius, in Hamlet, act 2, sc. 2, l. 42. To Polonius who brings news that peace is restored between Norway and Denmark; "still" means always.
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  • ''O, a kiss
    Long as my exile, sweet as my revenge!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Coriolanus, in Coriolanus, act 5, sc. 3, l. 44-5. Greeting his wife, Virgilia, who comes with his son and mother to plead with him not to make war on Rome.
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  • ''The fashion of the world is to avoid cost, and you encounter it.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Don Pedro, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 1, sc. 1, l. 97-8. To Leonato, who offers hospitality to Don Pedro and his companions.
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  • ''If he say so, may his pernicious soul
    Rot half a grain a day! He lies to the heart.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Emilia, in Othello, act 5, sc. 2, l. 155-6. She wants Iago to rot slowly; a "grain" is the smallest measurement of weight.
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  • ''I am as poor as Job, my lord, but not so patient.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 1, sc. 2, l. 126-7. Various calamities reduce Job to poverty, but he does not complain (Job 1:13-22).
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  • ''Here did she fall a tear. Here in this place
    I'll set a bank of rue, sour herb-of-grace.
    Rue even for ruth here shortly shall be seen
    In the remembrance of a weeping queen.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gardener, in Richard II, act 3, sc. 4, l. 104-7. Speaking of the distressed Queen; "fall" means let fall; rue was a herb symbolic of repentance, and signifying sorrow; "ruth" means pity.
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  • ''This quarry cries on havoc. O proud Death,
    What feast is toward in thine eternal cell,
    That thou so many princes at a shot
    So bloodily hast struck?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Hamlet (V, ii). NAWM-1. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''Thou wouldst not think how ill all's here about my heart—but
    it is no matter.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 5, sc. 2, l. 212-3. Just before the fencing-match with Laertes.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

A Lover's Complaint

FROM off a hill whose concave womb reworded
A plaintful story from a sistering vale,
My spirits to attend this double voice accorded,
And down I laid to list the sad-tuned tale;
Ere long espied a fickle maid full pale,
Tearing of papers, breaking rings a-twain,
Storming her world with sorrow's wind and rain.

Upon her head a platted hive of straw,
Which fortified her visage from the sun,
Whereon the thought might think sometime it saw
The carcass of beauty spent and done:
Time had not scythed all ...

Read the full of A Lover's Complaint

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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