William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''They said they were an-hungry; sighed forth proverbs—
    That hunger broke stone walls, that dogs must eat,
    That meat was made for mouths, that the gods sent not
    Corn for the rich men only.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Caius Marcius, later Coriolanus, in Coriolanus, act 1, sc 1, l. 205-8. A patrician's contempt for the starving populace of Rome.
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  • ''Your heart's desires be with you!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Celia, in As You Like It, act 1, sc. 2, l. 199.
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  • ''Do as the heavens have done, forget your evil;
    With them, forgive yourself.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleomenes, in The Winter's Tale, act 5, sc. 1, l. 5-6. Begging Leontes to forgive himself for causing, as he thinks, the death of his wife, Hermione.
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  • ''My gracious silence, hail!
    Wouldst thou have laughed had I come coffined home,
    That weep'st to see me triumph?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Coriolanus, in Coriolanus, act 2, sc. 1, l. 175. To his wife, Virgilia, who weeps with relief that he has returned alive from battle.
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  • ''Runs not this speech like iron through your blood?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Don Pedro, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 5, sc. 1, l. 245. To Claudio, on learning they were misled into thinking Hero false.
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  • ''The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne
    Burned on the water. The poop was beaten gold;
    Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
    The winds were love-sick with them. The oars were silver,
    Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
    The water which they beat to follow faster,
    As amorous of their strokes.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Enobarbus, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 2, sc. 2, l. 198-204 (1623). Describing Cleopatra's arrival at her first meeting with Antony. As for its occupant, "For her own person,/It beggared all description." T.S. Eliot wrote a pastiche of this passage in The Waste Land, "A Game of Chess."
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  • ''Rammed me in with foul shirts and smocks, socks, foul stockings, greasy napkins, that, Master Brook, there was the rankest compound of villainous smell that ever offended nostril.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, act 3, sc. 5, l. 89-93. On his experience of being hidden in a basket of foul linen.
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  • ''There is a willow grows aslant a brook
    That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gertrude, in Hamlet, act 4, sc. 7, l. 166-7. "His" means its; "hoar" means frost; the undersides of willow leaves are greyish white, like frost.
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  • ''Neither a borrower nor a lender be,
    For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
    And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
    This above all: to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Hamlet (I, iii). Giving advice to his son Laertes, departing for France. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in our philosophy.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 5, l. 168-9 (1604). In response to Horatio's exclamation "O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!"Mwhich followed Hamlet's initial encounter with the ghost.
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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 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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