William Shakespeare Quotes
''He that trusts to you,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Caius Marcius, later Coriolanus, in Coriolanus, act 1, sc. 1, l. 170-2. A patrician view of the people of Rome.
Where he should find you lions, finds you hares;
Where foxes, geese.''
''The dullness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet, dramatist. Celia, in As You Like It, act 1, sc. 2, l. 52-3 (1623). Shakespeare was possibly making a punning reference to The Whetstone of Wittea famous treatise on algebra by Robert Recorde published in 1557. The book's title was a literal translation of Cos Ingenii (cos being the Latin for "whetstone," while Coss or the Cossic Art was also the old name for algebra).
''Youth no less becomesWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Claudius, in Hamlet, act 4, sc. 7, l. 78-81. "Sables" means dark robes trimmed with sable fur; "weeds" means appropriate clothes.
The light and careless livery that it wears
Than settled age his sables and his weeds,
Importing health and graveness.''
''For the mutable, rank-scented meiny, let themWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Coriolanus, in Coriolanus, act 3, sc. 1, l. 66. A patrician claims to be telling the truth about the people, but shows his scorn for them at the same time; "meiny" means multitude.
Regard me as I do not flatter, and
Therein behold themselves.''
''He is composed and framed of treachery,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Don Pedro, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 5, sc. 1, l. 249-50. On Don John, who set up the plot to ruin the marriage of Claudio and Hero.
And fled he is upon this villainy.''
'''Tis not a year or two shows us a man:William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Emilia, in Othello, act 3, sc. 4, l. 103-6. "All but" means nothing but; "hungerly" means hungrily.
They are all but stomachs, and we all but food;
They eat us hungerly, and when they are full
They belch us.''
''A good wit will make use of anything. I will turn diseasesWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 1, sc. 2, l. 247-8. Planning to claim he has been lamed in battle, not by gout brought on by drinking; "commodity" means profit.
''You have seenWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gentleman, in King Lear, act 4, sc. 3, l. 17-22. Cordelia here becomes an emblem of pity; "like" means alike.
Sunshine and rain at once; her smiles and tears
Were like a better way: those happy smilets
That played on her ripe lip seemed not to know
What guests were in her eyes, which parted thence
As pearls from diamonds dropped.''
''O, my offense is rank, it smells to heaven;William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Hamlet (III, iii). NAWM-1. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
It hath the primal eldest curse upon 't,
A brother's murder. Pray can I not,
Though inclination be as sharp as will;
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent,
And like a man to double business bound
I stand in pause where I shall first begin,
And both neglect. What if this cursed hand
Were thicker than itself with brother's blood,
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens
To wash it white as snow?''
''Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 3, sc. 1, l. 85-90 (1604). Part of Hamlet's meditative soliloquy on the question of "To be, or not to be." William Hazlitt echoed these words in Characteristics (1823) no. 228, "Reflection makes men cowards."
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.''
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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?