William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Let husbands know
    Their wives have sense like them; they see, and smell,
    And have their palates both for sweet and sour,
    As husbands have. What is it that they do
    When they change us for others? Is it sport?
    I think it is. And doth affection breed it?
    I think it doth. Is't frailty that thus errs?
    It is so, too. And have not we affections,
    Desires for sport, and frailty, as men have?
    Then let them use us well; else let them know,
    The ills we do, their ills instruct us so.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Emilia, in Othello, act 4, sc. 3, l. 93-103. Emilia's impassioned plea for equal moral standards for men and women.
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  • ''It illumineth the face, which as a beacon gives warning to all the rest of this little kingdom, man, to arm ... this valor comes of sherris.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 4, sc. 3, l. 107-9, 111. On drinking wine or sherry as promoting courage.
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  • ''This happy breed of men, this little world.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gaunt, in Richard II, act 2, sc. 1. Referring to the English in general.
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  • ''Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
    Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
    The bird of dawning singeth all night long:
    And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad,
    The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
    No fairy tale nor witch hath power to charm,
    So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Hamlet (I, i). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''Thrift, thrift, Horatio, the funeral baked meats
    Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 2, l. 180-1. In reply to Horatio's acknowledgment that Hamlet's mother's marriage took place very soon after her first husband's death; "coldly" means when cold.
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  • ''In the gross and scope of mine opinion,
    This bodes some strange eruption to our state.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Horatio, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 1, l. 68-9. This appearance of the ghost foretells some political upheaval; "gross and scope" means general drift.
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  • ''O
    Dissembling courtesy! How fine this tyrant
    Can tickle where she wounds!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Imogen, in Cymbeline, act 1, sc. 1, l. 83-5. On her stepmother, the Queen, pretending to care for her.
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  • ''Was ever book containing such vile matter
    So fairly bound? O that deceit should dwell
    In such a gorgeous palace!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Juliet, in Romeo and Juliet, act 3, sc. 2, l. 83-5. Thinking Romeo has deceived her.
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  • ''Not today, O Lord,
    O not today, think not upon the fault
    My father made in compassing the crown.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry V, act 4, sc. 1, l. 292-4. Henry IV gained ("compassed") the crown by devious means.
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  • ''To be worst,
    The lowest and most dejected thing of fortune,
    Stands still in esperance, lives not in fear.
    The lamentable change is from the best;
    The worst returns to laughter. Welcome, then,
    Thou unsubstantial air that I embrace!
    The wretch that thou hast blown unto the worst
    Owes nothing to thy blasts.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. King Lear (IV, i). "Esperance" means hope; alluding to the proverb, "when things are at the worst they will mend". 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 Ci

O truant Muse, what shall be thy amends
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dyed?
Both truth and beauty on my love depends;
So dost thou too, and therein dignified.
Make answer, Muse: wilt thou not haply say
'Truth needs no colour, with his colour fix'd;
Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay;
But best is best, if never intermix'd?'
Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb?

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