William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''What, has this thing appeared again tonight?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Horatio, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 1, l. 21. Addressed to the sentinels at the king's castle, regarding the ghost of the dead King Hamlet of Denmark.
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  • ''I see a man's life is a tedious one.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Imogen, in Cymbeline, act 3, sc. 6, l. 1. She is tired with traveling on foot disguised as a youth.
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  • ''Come, civil night,
    Thou sober-suited matron all in black.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Juliet, in Romeo and Juliet, act 3, sc. 2, l. 10-1. "Civil" means mannerly, observing propriety; Juliet is now married, and anxiously awaiting nightfall and the coming of Romeo.
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  • ''There is some soul of goodness in things evil,
    Would men observingly distil it out.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry V, act 4, sc. 1, l. 4-5. "Observingly" means observantly, with watchful care.
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  • ''Thou, Nature, art my goddess; to thy law
    My services are bound. Wherefore should I
    Stand in the plague of custom and permit
    The curiosity of nations to deprive me,
    For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines
    Lag of a brother? Why bastard? Wherefore base?
    When my dimensions are as well compact,
    My mind as generous, and my shape as true,
    As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us
    With base? With baseness? Bastardy? Base, base?
    Who in the lusty stealth of nature take
    More composition and fierce quality
    Than doth within a dull, stale, tired bed
    Go to th' creating a whole tribe of fops
    Got 'tween asleep and wake?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. King Lear (I, ii). Rejecting conventional morality in favor of the law of the jungle, as he is a "natural" child, a bastard. OHFP. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''No medicine in the world can do thee good;
    In thee there is not half an hour's life.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Laertes, in Hamlet, act 5, sc. 2, l. 314-5.
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  • ''Welcome hither,
    As is the spring to th' earth.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Leontes, in The Winter's Tale, act 5, sc. 1, l. 151-2. Welcoming Florizel at his court.
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  • ''Can such things be
    And overcome us like a summer's cloud,
    Without our special wonder?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 3, sc. 4, l. 109-11. On seeing the ghost of the murdered Banquo.
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  • ''The bawdy hand of the dial is now upon the prick of noon.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Mercutio, in Romeo and Juliet, act 2, sc. 4, l. 112-3. Teasing Juliet's nurse, who is something of a bawd.
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  • ''You, that have so fair parts of woman on you,
    Have too a woman's heart, which ever yet
    Affected eminence, wealth, sovereignty;
    Which, to say sooth, are blessings.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Old Lady, in Henry VIII, act 2, sc. 3, l. 27-30. To Anne Bullen, who has said she does not want to be queen; "affected" = desired.
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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 Lxxvii

Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear,
Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste;
The vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear,
And of this book this learning mayst thou taste.
The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show
Of mouthed graves will give thee memory;
Thou by thy dial's shady stealth mayst know
Time's thievish progress to eternity.
Look, what thy memory can not contain

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