William Shakespeare Quotes
''In the morn and liquid dew of youthWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Laertes, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 3, l. 41-2. Warning his sister Ophelia against Hamlet's advances; "contagious blastments" means disease-bringing blights.
Contagious blastments are most imminent.''
''Calumny will searWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Leontes, in The Winter's Tale, act 2, sc. 1, l. 73-4. Varying the proverb, "envy shoots at the fairest mark."
''I am in bloodWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 3, sc. 4, l. 135-7. Implying that he might as well continue to kill; "no more" means no further.
Stepped in so far, that should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o'er.''
''A plague o' both your houses.William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Mercutio, in Romeo and Juliet, act 3, sc. 1, l. 106-7 (1599). This is the third time Mercutio utters this oath within the space of fifteen lines, when he is struck under Romeo's arm when the latter intervened to pry apart the duelling Mercutio and Tybalt.
They have made worms' meat of me.''
''O, how much more doth beauty beauteous seemWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. O, how much more doth beauty beauteous seem (l. 1-14). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give!
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem
For that sweet odor which doth in it live.
The canker-blooms have full as deep a dye
As the perfumed tincture of the roses,
Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly
When summer's breath their masked buds discloses.
But, for their virtue only is their show.
They live unwooed and unrespected fade,
Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so;
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odors made.
And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth,
When that shall vade, by verse distills your truth''
''O curse of marriage,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Othello, in Othello, act 3, sc. 3, l. 272-7 (1623).
That we can call these delicate creatures ours
And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad,
And live upon the vapour of a dungeon
Than keep a corner in the thing I love
For others' uses.''
''See where she comes, apparelled like the spring.William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Pericles, in Pericles, act 1, sc. 1, l. 12-14. Admiring the approach of the daughter of Antiochus.
Graces her subjects, and her thoughts the king
Of every virtue gives renown to men.''
''Let me give light, but let me not be light,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Portia, in The Merchant of Venice, act 5, sc. 1, l. 129-130. Playing on the idea of "light" as wanton or unchaste.
For a light wife doth make a heavy husband.''
''The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prospero, in The Tempest, act 4, sc. 1, l. 152-6. The "globe" may have made Shakespeare's audience think of the Globe Theater as well as the world.
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind.''
''Thou art a traitor.William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Richard, in Richard III, act 3, sc. 4, l. 75-6. Accusing and sentencing Hastings at the same time.
Off with his head!''
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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 ...
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?