William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Then must you speak
    Of one that loved not wisely but too well;
    Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought,
    Perplexed in the extreme; of one whose hand,
    Like the base Judean threw a pearl away
    Richer than all his tribe.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Othello, in Othello, act 5, sc. 2, l. 343-8. "Judean" may refer to the betrayal of Christ by Judas, who threw away the "pearl of great price" (Matthew 13:46) which is heaven; but the earliest text reads "Indian," suggesting an ignorant East or West Indian who does not know the value of a precious stone.
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  • ''Crowns in my purse I have, and goods at home,
    And so am come abroad to see the world.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Petruchio, in The Taming of the Shrew, act 1, sc. 2, l. 57-8. He has just arrived in Padua from Verona.
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  • ''We do pray for mercy,
    And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
    The deeds of mercy.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Portia, in The Merchant of Venice, act 4, sc. 1, l. 200-2. Inviting Shylock to be merciful.
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  • ''Bear with my weakness. My old brain is troubled.
    Be not disturbed with my infirmity.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prospero, in The Tempest, act 4, sc. 1, l. 159-60.
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  • ''Teach not thy lip such scorn, for it was made
    For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Richard, in Richard III, act 1, sc. 2, l. 171-2. Wooing the Lady Anne, whose father he killed.
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  • ''The sight of lovers feedeth those in love.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Rosalind, in As You Like It, act 3, sc. 4, l. 57. Going to see Silvius wooing Phebe.
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  • ''Sir Toby Belch. Pourquoi, my dear knight?
    Sir Andrew Aguecheek. What is "pourquoi?" Do, or not do? I would I had bestowed that time in the tongues that I have in fencing, dancing, and bear-baiting. O had I but followed the arts!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Sir Toby Belch and Sir Andrew Aguecheek, in Twelfth Night, act 1, sc. 3, l. 90-4. "tongues" means languages; Sir Andrew does not understand the simplest French, "pourquoi" means why?; Setting dogs to bait bears was a popular sport in Shakespeare's day.
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  • ''Say, what abridgement have you for this evening?
    What masque, what music? How shall we beguile
    The lazy time if not with some delight?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Theseus, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 5, sc. 1, l. 39-41. A "masque" was a courtly entertainment including masked dancers.
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  • ''And appetite, an universal wolf,
    So doubly seconded with will and power,
    Must make perforce an universal prey
    And last eat up himself.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Troilus and Cressida (I, iii). TrGrPo. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''I did not think to shed a tear
    In all my miseries; but thou hast forced me,
    Out of thy honest truth, to play the woman.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Wolsey, in Henry VIII, act 4, sc. 1, l. 428-30. To his devoted supporter Cromwell.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

Fear No More

Fear no more the heat o' the sun;
Nor the furious winter's rages,
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages;
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney sweepers come to dust.

Fear no more the frown of the great,
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke:
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning-flash,
Nor the all-dread thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy ...

Read the full of Fear No More

Sonnet Li

Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed:
From where thou art why should I haste me thence?
Till I return, of posting is no need.
O, what excuse will my poor beast then find,
When swift extremity can seem but slow?
Then should I spur, though mounted on the wind;
In winged speed no motion shall I know:
Then can no horse with my desire keep pace;

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