William Shakespeare Quotes
''Hamlet. The air bites shrewdly, it is very cold.William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet and Horatio, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 4, l. 1-2. On the battlements of the castle, waiting for the ghost to appear; "shrewdly" means keenly; "eager" means sharp, bitter.
Horatio. It is a nipping and an eager air.''
''To die, to sleepWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 3, sc. 1, l. 62-70 (1604). Part of Hamlet's meditative soliloquy on the question of "To be, or not to be." Sleep was proverbially the image of death; "rub" means snag (a term from the game of bowls); "coil" means turmoil.
No more, and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep.
To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil
Must give us pause.''
''He capers, he dances, he has eyes of youth; he writes verses, he speaks holiday, he smells April and May.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Host, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, act 3, sc. 2, l. 67-9. Recommending Fenton as a suitor for Anne Page.
''In faith I do not love thee with mine eyes,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. In faith I do not love thee with mine eyes (l. 1-3). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
For they in thee a thousand errors note,
But 'tis my heart that loves what they dispise,''
''Cowards die many times before their deaths;William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Julius Caesar, in Julius Caesar, act 2, sc. 2, l. 32-3 (1623). Caesar disregards objections to his departure on the Ides of March for the Capitol, where he is to be assassinated.
The valiant never taste of death but once.''
''What is it then to me, if impious War,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry V, act 3, sc. 3, l. 15-8. Blaming war rather than individuals for the cruelty ("fell feats") and devastation it brings.
Arrayed in flames like to the prince of fiends,
Do with his smirched complexion all fell feats
Enlinked to waste and desolation?''
''A heavy sentence, my most sovereign liege,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. King Richard II (I, iii). OHFP. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
And all unlooked-for from Your Highness' mouth.
A dearer merit, not so deep a maim
As to be cast forth in the common air,
Have I deserved at Your Highness' hands.
The language I have learned these forty years,
My native English, now I must forgo;
And now my tongue's use is to me nor more
Than an unstringed viol or a harp.
Or like a cunning instrument cased up,
Or, being open, put into his hands
That knows no touch to tune the harmony.
Within my mouth you have enjailed my tongue,
Doubly portcullised with my teeth and lips,
And dull unfeeling barren ignorance
Is made my jailer to attend on me.''
''It is a wise father that knows his own child.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Launcelot, in The Merchant of Venice, act 2, sc. 2, l. 72-3 (1600). Launcelot repeats a proverbial saying as he attempts to make himself known to his blind father Gobbo.
''Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poeta. Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore (l. 1-4). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.''
''Methought I heard a voice cry "Sleep no more!William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 2, l. 33-7. "Ravelled sleave" means tangled thread; "second course" means main and most nourishing course (feasts had two courses as a rule).
Macbeth does murder sleep," the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labor's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast.''
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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