William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''But why should honor outlive honesty?
    Let it all go.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Othello, in Othello, act 5, sc. 2, l. 245-6. Having lost his integrity ("honesty") he no longer sees a need to maintain his reputation (as a warrior).
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  • ''The poorest service is repaid with thanks.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Petruchio, in The Taming of the Shrew, act 4, sc. 3, l. 45. Demanding the Katherine thank him before she gets anything to eat.
  • ''The quality of mercy is not strained.
    It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
    Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
    It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.
    'Tis mightiest in the mightiest. It becomes
    The thronèd monarch better than his crown.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Portia, in The Merchant of Venice, act 4, sc. 1, l. 181-86 (1600). Portia, disguised as a man, argues that Shylock should show mercy to Antonio—though shortly afterwards she herself shows little mercy in her dealings with Shylock. (Strained here means "forced," "compelled.").
  • ''A rotten carcass of a butt, not rigged,
    Nor tackle, sail, nor mast—the very rats
    Instinctively have quit it.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prospero, in The Tempest, act 1, sc. 2, l. 146-8. Describing to Miranda the miserable boat ("butt" means cask) in which they were exiled from his dukedom.
  • ''True hope is swift, and flies with swallow's wings:
    Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures kings.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Richmond, in Richard III, act 5, sc. 2, l. 23-4. Encouraging his supporters in their drive against Richard.
  • ''She could not love me
    Were man as rare as phoenix.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Rosalind, in As You Like It, act 4, sc. 3, l. 16-7. Misrepresenting Phebe's letter protesting love; phoenix means a mythical bird, only one of which lived at a time.
  • ''These clothes are good enough to drink in, and so be these boots too.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Sir Toby Belch, in Twelfth Night, act 1, sc. 3, l. 11-2.
  • ''"A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus
    And his love Thisbe, very tragical mirth"—
    Merry and tragical? Tedious and brief?
    That is hot ice and wondrous strange snow!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Theseus, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 5, sc. 1, l. 56-9. The absurd title of the play put on by Bottom, Quince and their crew parodies the titles of some earlier Elizabethan plays.
  • ''Praise us as we are tasted, allow us as we prove.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Troilus, in Troilus and Cressida, act. 3, sc. 2, l. 97. "Allow" = commend; he is asking Cressida to let experience show how faithful he will be.
  • ''I'll read you matter deep and dangerous,
    As full of peril and adventurous spirit
    As to o'erwalk a current roaring loud
    On the unsteadfast footing of a spear.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Worcester, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 1, sc. 3, l. 190-3. Proposing rebellion against the king.

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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 Li

Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed:
From where thou art why should I haste me thence?
Till I return, of posting is no need.
O, what excuse will my poor beast then find,
When swift extremity can seem but slow?
Then should I spur, though mounted on the wind;
In winged speed no motion shall I know:
Then can no horse with my desire keep pace;

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