William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''O my soul's joy,
    If after every tempest come such calms,
    May the winds blow till they have wakened death!
    And let the laboring bark climb hills of seas
    Olympus-high, and duck again as low
    As hell's from heaven!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Othello, in Othello, act 2, sc. 1, l. 185-9. on finding Desdemona safe in Cyprus. Mount Olympus was the seat of the ancient Greek. Gods.
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  • ''Our purses shall be proud, our garments poor,
    For 'tis the mind that makes the body rich,
    And as the sun breaks through the darkest clouds,
    So honor peereth in the meanest habit.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Petruchio, in The Taming of the Shrew, act 4, sc. 3, l. 171-4. Proposing to take his wife, Katherine, to her father's house in poor clothes; "peereth in" = shows through.
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  • ''I think
    The nightingale, if she should sing by day
    When every goose is cackling, would be thought
    No better a musician than the wren.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Portia, in The Merchant of Venice, act 5, sc. 1, l. 103-6.
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  • ''Though with their high wrongs I am struck to the quick,
    Yet with my nobler reason 'gainst my fury
    Do I take part. The rarer action is
    In virtue than in vengeance.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prospero, in The Tempest, act 5, sc. 1, l. 25-8. Abandoning thoughts of revenging himself on his enemies.
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  • ''Alas, why would you heap this care on me?
    I am unfit for state and majesty.
    I do beseech you take it not amiss,
    I cannot nor I will not yield to you.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Richard, in Richard III, act 3, sc. 7, l. 204-7. Pretending he does not want the crown.
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  • ''Dost thou think, though I am caparisoned like a man, I have
    a doublet and hose in my disposition?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Rosalind, in As You Like It, act 3, sc. 2, l. 194-7. Dressed as a man, but with a woman's heart, she is eager for Celia to tell her who has been posting verses about her.
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  • ''He's as tall a man as any's in Illyria.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Sir Toby Belch, in Twelfth Night, act 1, sc. 3, l. 20. Defending his friendship with Sir Andrew Aguecheek.
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  • ''Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
    Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
    More than cool reason ever comprehends.
    The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
    Are of imagination all compact.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Theseus, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 5, sc. 1, l. 4-8. In their shaping visions, lovers and madmen conceive ("apprehend") more than cool reason understands; "compact" means composed.
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  • ''O, when degree is shaked,
    Which is the ladder of all high designs,
    The enterprise is sick. How could communities,
    Degrees in schools, and brotherhoods in cities,
    Peaceful commerce from dividable shores,
    The primogeniture and due of birth,
    Prerogative of age, crowns, scepters, laurels,
    But by degree stand in authentic place?
    Take but degree away, untune that string,
    And hark what discord follows. Each thing meets
    In mere oppugnancy.''
    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 have touched the highest point of all my greatness,
    And from that full meridian of my glory
    I haste now to my setting. I shall fall
    Like a bright exhalation in the evening,
    And no man see me more.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Wolsey, in King Henry VIII, act 3, sc. 2, l. 224-6 (1623).
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day? (Sonnet 18)

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe, or ...

Read the full of Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day? (Sonnet 18)

Sonnet Lxvi

Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And guilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,

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