William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Pray you no more of this, 'tis like the howling of Irish
    wolves against the moon.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Rosalind, in As You Like It, act 5, sc. 2, l. 109-10. Dogs or wolves barking at the moon offered a proverbial image of ineffectual outcry. She is calling on the lovers to stop complaining.
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  • ''Sir Toby Belch. Does not our life consist of the four elements?
    Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Faith, so they say, but I think it rather consists of eating and drinking.
    Sir Toby Belch. Thou'rt a scholar; therefore let us eat and drink.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Sir Toby Belch and Sir Andrew Aguecheek, in Twelfth Night, act 2, sc. 3, l. 9-14. All matter was thought to be composed of the four elements. Earth, water, air, and fire.
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  • ''The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
    Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
    And as imagination bodies forth
    The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
    Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
    A local habitation and a name.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Theseus, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 5, sc. 1, l. 12-7. These lines might be Shakespeare's own comment on creating the fairy world of this play.
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  • ''I will here shroud till the dregs of the storm be past.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Trinculo, in The Tempest, act 2, sc. 2, l. 40-1. Taking cover under Caliban's cloak.
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  • ''How much methinks, I could despise this man,
    But that I am bound in charity against it.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Wolsey, in Henry VIII, act 3, sc. 2, l. 297-8. Speaking of the Earl of Surrey.
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  • ''Hath homely age th' alluring beauty took
    From my poor cheek? Then he hath wasted it.
    Are my discourses dull? Barren my wit?
    If voluble and sharp discourse be marred,
    Unkindness blunts it more than marble hard.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Adriana, in The Comedy of Errors, act 2, sc. 1, l. 89-93. On her absent husband; "wasted" means squandered and laid waste to.
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  • ''I am dying, Egypt, dying.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Antony, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 4, sc. 15, l. 18 and 41. Antony's only reference to Cleopatra's title as Queen of Egypt.
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  • ''With fairest flowers
    Whilst summer lasts and I live here, Fidele,
    I'll sweeten thy sad grave. Thou shalt not lack
    The flower that's like thy face, pale primrose, nor
    The azured harebell, like thy veins; no, nor
    The leaf of eglantine, whom not to slander,
    Outsweetened not thy breath.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Arviragus, in Cymbeline, act 4, sc. 2, l. 218-24. Imogen, called Fidele in her disguise as a youth, appears dead.
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  • ''The world must be peopled. When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Benedick, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 2, sc. 3. Justifying his change of heart about marriage.
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  • ''Think him as a serpent's egg,
    Which, hatched, would as his kind grow mischievous,
    And kill him in the shell.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Brutus, in Julius Caesar, act 2, sc. 1, l. 32-4. The snake (Caesar) will behave according to its nature ("as his kind").
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

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.

Read the full of A Fairy Song

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