William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''I saw her once
    Hop forty paces through the public street;
    And having lost her breath, she spoke, and panted,
    That she did make defect perfection.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Enobarbus, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 2, sc. 2, l. 228-31. Cleopatra's charm in her less than queenly behavior.
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  • ''Well, if my wind were but long enough to say my prayers, I would repent.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, act 4, sc. 5, l. 102-3. On being cheated and beaten; "wind" = breath.
  • ''To my sick soul, as sin's true nature is,
    Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss.
    So full of artless jealousy is guilt,
    It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gertrude, in Hamlet, act 4, sc. 5, l. 17-20. "Toy" means trifle; "jealousy"means suspicion; "spills" means reveals and destroys.
  • ''What is a man,
    If his chief good and market of his time
    Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.
    Sure he that made us with such large discourse,
    Looking before and after, gave us not
    That capability and godlike reason
    To fust in us unused. Now, whether it be
    Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
    Of thinking too precisely on th' event—
    A thought which, quartered, hath but one part wisdom
    And ever three parts coward—I do not know
    Why yet I live to say "This thing's to do,"
    Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
    To do 't. Examples gross as earth exhort me:''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Hamlet (IV, iv). NAWM-1. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
  • ''Thy commandment all alone shall live
    Within the book and volume of my brain
    Unmixed with baser matter.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 5, l. 102-4. Taking the Ghost's demand for revenge as a military order (command), and a biblical injunction (commandment).
  • ''Hortensio. What happy gale
    Blows you to Padua here from old Verona?
    Petruchio. Such wind as scatters young men through the world
    To seek their fortunes farther than at home,
    Where small experience grows.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hortensio and Petruchio, in The Taming of the Shrew, act 1, sc. 2, l. 48-52.
  • ''Hath Britain all the sun that shines? day? night?
    Are they not but in Britain?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Imogen, in Cymbeline, act 3, sc. 4, l. 136-7. Alluding to the proverb, "The sun shines on all alike."
  • ''Is there no pity sitting in the clouds,
    That sees into the bottom of my grief?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Juliet, in Romeo and Juliet, act 3, sc. 5, l. 196-7. To her mother, making grief for her cousin Tybalt's death a reason for delaying the proposed marriage with Paris.
  • ''O God of battles, steel my soldiers' hearts.
    Possess them not with fear. Take from them now
    The sense of reckoning, ere th' opposed numbers
    Pluck their hearts from them.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry V, act 4, sc. 1, l. 289-92. "Sense of reckoning" means ability to gauge the odds against winning; the French army is much larger.
  • ''Let's take the instant by the forward top;
    For we are old, and on our quick'st decrees
    Th' inaudible and noiseless foot of time
    Steals ere we can effect them.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King of France, in All's Well That Ends Well, act 5, sc. 3, l. 40-2. being old, he must move quickly if he is to see the results of his actions; compare the proverb, "Seize occasion by the forelock, for she is bald behind."

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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

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 ...

Read the full of All The World's A Stage

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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