William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''I am sure care's an enemy to life.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Sir Toby Belch, in Twelfth Night, act 1, sc. 3, l. 2-3.
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  • ''As you from crimes would pardoned be,
    Let your indulgence set me free.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. The Tempest (V, Epilogue). OAEL-1. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''Words, words, mere words, no matter from the heart.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Troilus, in Troilus and Cressida, act 5, sc. 3, l. 108. On receiving a letter from Cressida, whose love for Diomedes he has witnessed.
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  • ''But we are soldiers,
    And may that soldier a mere recreant prove,
    That means not, hath not, or is not in love.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Agamemnon, in Troilus and Cressida. Responding to Hector's challenge; "recreant" = traitor.
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  • ''To business that we love we rise betime,
    And go to't with delight.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Antony, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 4, sc. 4. Arming himself before the battle against Octavius Caesar at Alexandria.
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  • ''Jog on, jog on, the footpath way,
    And merrily hent the stile-a.
    A merry heart goes all the day,
    Your sad tires in a mile-a.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Autolycus, in The Winter's Tale, act 4, sc. 3, l. 123-6. Having tricked the shepherd's son, Autolycus goes off with a song; "hent" means take hold of.
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  • ''Shall quips and sentences and these paper bullets of the brain awe a man from the career of his humor? No, the world must be peopled.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Benedick, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 2, sc. 3, l. 240-2. Refusing to be intimidated by mocking words ("sentences" means maxims) from pursuing his inclination, and loving Beatrice.
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  • ''Our enemies have beat us to the pit.
    It is more worthy to leap in ourselves
    Than tarry till they push us.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Brutus, in Julius Caesar, act 5, sc. 5, l. 23-5. Accepting defeat; the "pit" could be a trap for wild animals, or the grave.
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  • ''I am all the subjects that you have,
    Which first was mine own king.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Caliban, in The Tempest, act 1, sc. 2, l. 341-2. To Prospero, who has made him a slave.
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  • ''This queen will live. Nature awakes,
    A warmth breathes out of her. She hath not been
    Entranced above five hours. See how she 'gins
    To blow into life's flower again.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cerimon, in Pericles, act 3, sc. 2, l. 92-5. Thaisa, found unconscious and coffined as if dead, revives; "'gins" = begins.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day? (Sonnet 18)

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe, or ...

Read the full of Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day? (Sonnet 18)

Sonnet Cviii

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