William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Virtue itself scapes not calumnious strokes.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Laertes, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 3, l. 39-40. Warning Ophelia against Hamlet.
    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • ''They say we are
    Almost as like as eggs. Women say so
    That will say anything.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Leontes, in The Winter's Tale, act 1, sc. 2, l. 129-31. On the likeness of father and son.
  • ''My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,
    Shakes so my single state of man,
    That function is smothered in surmise,
    And nothing is but what is not.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 3, l. 139-42. What he imagines overwhelms his ability to act ("function"), and nothing exists for him but the thought of murder; "fantastical" means imaginary.
  • ''Nay, if our wits run the wild-goose chase, I am done.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Mercutio, in Romeo and Juliet, act 2, sc. 4, l. 71. To Romeo, giving up a futile argument.
  • ''A falcon, towering in her pride of place,
    Was by a mousing owl hawked at and killed.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Old Man, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 4, l. 12-3. "Towering in her pride of place" means having risen to the point where it was ready to swoop down on its prey.
  • ''My travel's history,
    Wherein of antres vast and deserts idle,
    Rough quarries, rocks, and hills whose heads touch heaven,
    It was my hint to speak—such was my process—
    And of the cannibals that each other eat,
    The anthropophagi, and men whose heads
    Do grow beneath their shoulders.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Othello, in Othello, act 1, sc. 3, l. 139-42. On his exotic past; "antres" means caves; "rough quarries" means rugged precipices; "anthropophagi," or cannibals, and headless men were reported by Pliny, and figured in travel books still in the 16th century.
  • ''What, is the jay more precious than the lark
    Because his feathers are more beautiful?
    Or is the adder better than the eel
    Because his painted skin contents the eye?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Petruchio, in The Taming of the Shrew, act 4, sc. 3, l. 175-8. "Painted" = brightly colored.
  • ''So doth the greater glory dim the less:
    A substitute shines brightly as a king
    Until a king be by.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Portia, in The Merchant of Venice, act 5, sc. 1, l. 93-5. On the way moonlight makes the light of a candle seem faint.
  • ''My trust,
    Like a good parent, did beget of him
    A falsehood in its contrary, as great
    As my trust was; which had indeed no limit,
    A confidence sans bound.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prospero, in The Tempest, act 1, sc. 2, l. 93-7. On being betrayed by his brother Antonio; recalling the proverb, "trust is the mother of deceit."
  • ''I have been long a sleeper; but I trust
    My absence doth neglect no great design
    Which by my presence might have been concluded.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Richard, in Richard III, act 3, sc. 4, l. 23-5. Apologizing for his late arrival at a council meeting; "great design" = important proposal or business.

Read more quotations »
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 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

[Report Error]