William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''What's done cannot be undone.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 5, sc. 1, l. 68.
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  • ''Return to her? and fifty men dismissed?
    No, rather I abjure all roofs, and choose
    To wage against the enmity o' th' air,
    To be a comrade with the wolf and owl—
    Necessity's sharp pinch.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lear, in King Lear, act 2, sc. 4, l. 207-11. Preferring to struggle against storms and winds ("the enmity o' th' air"), and live with wild beasts, than stay with his ungrateful daughters.
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  • ''The sin of my ingratitude even now
    Was heavy on me. Thou art so far before
    That swiftest wing of recompense is slow
    To overtake thee. Would thou hadst less deserved,
    That the proportion both of thanks and payment
    Might have been mine! Only I have left to say,
    More is thy due than more than all can pay.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Macbeth (I, iv). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''I think nobly of the soul.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Malvolio, in Twelfth Night, act 4, sc. 2, l. 55. Protesting his sanity.
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  • ''Superfluity comes sooner by white hairs, but competency lives longer.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Nerissa, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 2, l. 8-9. Over indulgence or having too much ages people, while those of moderate means live longer.
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  • ''Orsino. There's for thy pains.
    Feste. No pains, sir, I take pleasure in singing, sir.
    Orsino. I'll pay thy pleasure then.
    Feste. Truly, sir, and pleasure will be paid, one time or another.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Orsino and Feste, in Twelfth Night, act 2, sc. 4, l. 67-71. Feste alludes to the proverbial idea that pleasure must be paid for with pain.
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  • ''There is no help.
    The bitter disposition of the time
    Will have it so.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Paris, in Troilus and Cressida, act 4, sc. 1, l. 48-50. On Cressida being sent to the Greek camp in exchange for Antenor.
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  • ''Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
    Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Polonius, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 3, l. 62-3. Advice to his son as he goes to live abroad; "their adoption tried" means their association with you tested.
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  • ''If he be sick with joy, he'll recover without physic.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince Hal, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 4, sc. 5, l. 15. Misunderstanding the nature of his father's illness.
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  • ''Quince. He is a very paramour for a sweet voice.
    Flute. You must say "paragon." A paramour is, God bless us, a thing of naught.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Quince and Flute, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 4, sc. 2, 12-4. Comically alluding to Bottom, who has been temporarily Titania's paramour.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

Fear No More

Fear no more the heat o' the sun;
Nor the furious winter's rages,
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages;
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney sweepers come to dust.

Fear no more the frown of the great,
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke:
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning-flash,
Nor the all-dread thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy ...

Read the full of Fear No More

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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