William Shakespeare Quotes
''They say miracles are past, and we have our philosophicalWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lafew, in All's Well That Ends Well, act 2, sc. 3, l. 1-6. On trusting what is awesome and inexplicable, rather than seeking explanations for everything; the miracle is Helena's cure of the King's sickness.
persons, to make modern and familiar, things supernatural
and causeless. Hence is it that we make trifles of terrors,
ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge, when we should
submit ourselves to an unknown fear.''
''There may be in the cupWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Leontes, in The Winter's Tale, act 2, sc. 1, l. 39-45. Finding the escape of Polixenes to be convincing evidence of his wife's adultery; only if the drinker sees the spider in the cup is he poisoned; "hefts" means heavings (vomiting out the poison).
A spider steeped, and one may drink, depart,
And yet partake no venom, for his knowledge
Is not infected; but if one present
Th'abhorred ingredient to his eye, make known
How he hath drunk, he cracks his gorge, his sides,
With violent hefts. I have drunk, and seen the spider.''
''Then comes my fit again. I had else been perfect,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 3, sc. 4, l. 20-4. On learning that his murderers failed to kill Fleance; "broad and general" means free and unconfined; "casing" means surrounding.
Whole as the marble, founded as the rock,
As broad and general as the casing air.
But now I am cabined, cribbed, confined, bound in
To saucy doubts and fears.''
''We waste our lights in vain, like lamps by day.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Mercutio, in Romeo and Juliet, act 1, sc. 4, l. 45.
''I would there were no age between ten and three-and-twenty, or that youth would sleep out the rest; for there is nothing in the between but getting wenches with child, wronging the ancientry, stealing, fighting.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Old Shepherd, in The Winter's Tale, act 3, sc. 3, l. 59-63. "Ancientry" means old people.
''Farewell the neighing steed and the shrill trump,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Othello, in Othello, act 3, sc. 3, l. 353-4. bidding farewell to the glamor and ceremony ("circumstance") of his profession as a general; "trump" means trumpet." Edward Elgar chose to name his famous marches with the phrase "pomp and circumstance."
The spirit-stirring drum, th' ear-piercing fife,
The royal banner and all quality,
Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war!''
''Where two raging fires meet together,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Petruchio, in The Taming of the Shrew, act 2, sc. 1, l. 132-5. This is how he sees his relationship with Katherine, the shrew.
They do consume the thing that feeds their fury.
Though little fire grows great with little wind,
Yet extreme gusts will blow out fire and all.''
''To offend and judge are distinct offices,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Portia, in The Merchant of Venice, act 2, sc. 9, l. 61-2. To the Prince of Aragon, who has judged badly in choosing the silver casket, and is offended because he feels he deserves better.
And of opposed natures.''
''We are such stuffWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prospero, in The Tempest, act 4, sc. 1, l. 156-8 (1623).
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.''
''The weary sun hath made a golden set,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Richmond, in Richard III, act 5, sc. 3, l. 19-21. Cheerfully anticipating victory in the battle with Richard next morning.
And by the bright track of his fiery car
Gives token of a goodly day tomorrow.''
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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 ...
What's in the brain that ink may character
Which hath not figured to thee my true spirit?
What's new to speak, what new to register,
That may express my love or thy dear merit?
Nothing, sweet boy; but yet, like prayers divine,
I must, each day say o'er the very same,
Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine,
Even as when first I hallow'd thy fair name.
So that eternal love in love's fresh case