William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''An honest woman's son, for indeed my father did something smack, something grow to, he had a kind of taste.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Launcelot Gobbo, in The Merchant of Venice, act 2, sc. 2, l. 16-18. Meaning that his father was known for lechery, and so was not "honest" means honorable.
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  • '''Tis a strange serpent.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lepidus, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 2, sc. 7, l. 48. The crocodile.
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  • ''Infected be the air whereon they ride,
    And damned all those that trust them!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 4, sc. 1, l. 138-9. Cursing the witches.
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  • ''Messenger. But yet, madam-
    Cleopatra. I do not like "but yet."''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Messenger and Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 2, sc. 5, l. 49-50. Heralding unwelcome news, that Antony is married.
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  • ''Pray you bid
    These unknown friends to's welcome, for it is
    A way to make us better friends, more known.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Old Shepherd, in The Winter's Tale, act 4, sc. 4, l. 64-6. On the arrival of the disguised Polixenes and Camillo; "to's" means each to his.
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  • ''O, it comes o'er my memory
    As doth the raven o'er the infected house,
    Boding to all!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Othello, in Othello, act 4, sc. 1, l. 20-2. Recalling the handkerchief he thinks Desdemona gave Cassio; the raven proverbially foreboded bad luck or death.
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  • ''O slanderous world! Kate like the hazel twig
    Is straight and slender, and as brown in hue
    As hazelnuts, and sweeter than the kernels.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Petruchio, in The Taming of the Shrew, act 2, sc. 1, l. 253-5. Sweet-talking Katherine, who has been abusing him.
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  • ''How far that little candle throws his beams!
    So shines a good deed in a naughty world.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Portia, in The Merchant of Venice, act 5, sc. 1, l. 90-1. Seeing a light in her house as she arrives back from Venice; "naughty" means wicked.
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  • ''What seest thou else
    In the dark backward and abysm of time?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prospero, in The Tempest, act 1, sc. 2, l. 49-50. Asking his daughter Miranda what she remembers of her childhood.
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  • ''Lord, what fools these mortals be!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Robin Goodfellow (Puck), in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 3, sc. 2, l. 115, 1594-95. Referring to the antics of the Athenian lovers, upon whom he has sprinkled his love potion. Seneca wrote similar words in Epistulae ad Lucilium, epistle 1, sct. 3.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

A Fairy Song

Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire!
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours;
In those freckles live their savours;
I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.

Read the full of A Fairy Song

Sonnet Ci

O truant Muse, what shall be thy amends
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dyed?
Both truth and beauty on my love depends;
So dost thou too, and therein dignified.
Make answer, Muse: wilt thou not haply say
'Truth needs no colour, with his colour fix'd;
Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay;
But best is best, if never intermix'd?'
Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb?