William Shakespeare Quotes
''For her own person,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Enobarbus, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 2, sc. 2, l. 197-201. Cleopatra as she first appeared to Antony, outdoing Venus, the goddess of love.
It beggared all description: she did lie
In her pavilioncloth of gold, of tissue
O'er-picturing that Venus where we see
The fancy outwork nature.''
''Your lordship, though not clean past your youth, have yet some smack of age in you, some relish of the saltness of time.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, to the Lord Chief Justice, in King Henry IV, Part 2, act 1, sc. 2. "Saltness" means sharp or bitter taste.
''Do not for ever with thy vailed lidsWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gertrude, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 2, l. 70-3. Offering commonplace Christian comfort to Hamlet, who is in mourning for his father's death.
Seek for thy noble father in the dust.
Thou know'st 'tis common, all that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.''
''What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Hamlet (II, ii). Meditating on the player who weeps as he narrates the death of Hecuba, Queen of Troy, and on his own failure to act. NAWM-1. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
That he should weep for her? What would he do
Had he the motive and the cue for passion
That I have? He would drown the stage with tears
And cleave the general ear with horrid speech,
Make mad the guilty and appall the free,
Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed
The very faculties of eyes and ears. Yet I,
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak
Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,
And can say nothingno, not for a king
Upon whose property and most dear life
A damned defeat was made.''
''How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitableWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 2, l. 133-7. Hamlet's world-weariness following his mother's remarriage.
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on't, ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden
That grows to seed, things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely.''
''There's small choice in rotten apples.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hortensio, in The Taming of the Shrew, act 1, sc. 1, l. 134-5. Shakespeare might have coined this proverb.
''I am ill, but your being by meWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Imogen, in Cymbeline, act 4, sc. 2, l. 11-14. She is begging to be left alone.
Cannot amend me; society is no comfort
To one not sociable. I am not very sick,
Since I can reason of it.''
''There is a tide in the affairs of menWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Julius Caesar (IV, iii). NAWM-1. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves
Or lose our ventures.''
''O Kate, nice customs curtsy to great kings. Dear Kate, youWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry V, act 5, sc. 2, l. 268-71. "Nice" means punctilious or particular; "weak list" means feeble bounds or barriers.
and I cannot be confined within the weak list of a country's
fashion. We are the makers of manners, Kate.''
''King Richard. Lions make leopards tame.William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Richard and Mowbray, in Richard II, act 1, sc. 1, l. 174-5. Richard sees himself as a lion, the king of beasts.
Mowbray. Yea, but not change his spots.''
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A Lover's Complaint
FROM off a hill whose concave womb reworded
A plaintful story from a sistering vale,
My spirits to attend this double voice accorded,
And down I laid to list the sad-tuned tale;
Ere long espied a fickle maid full pale,
Tearing of papers, breaking rings a-twain,
Storming her world with sorrow's wind and rain.
Upon her head a platted hive of straw,
Which fortified her visage from the sun,
Whereon the thought might think sometime it saw
The carcass of beauty spent and done:
Time had not scythed all ...
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