William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''See how the giddy multitude do point
    And nod their heads and throw their eyes on thee!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Duchess of Gloucester, in Henry VI, Part 2, act 2, sc. 4, l. 21-2. To her husband, who stays with her when she is exposed to public shame.
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  • ''A power I have, but of what strength and nature
    I am not yet instructed.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Escalus, in Measure for Measure, act 1, sc. 1, l. 79-80. To Angelo, with whom he is to share the rule of Vienna.
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  • '''Tis fresh morning with me
    When you are by at night.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Ferdinand, in The Tempest, act 3, sc. 1, l. 33-4. To Miranda, whom he loves; "by" means nearby.
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  • ''Thy knotted and combined locks to part,
    And each particular hair to stand on end,
    Like quills upon the fretful porpentine.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Ghost, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 5, l. 18-20. Hinting at horrors he will not describe to Hamlet; "porpentine" means porcupine.
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  • ''Hamlet. There's never a villain dwelling in all Denmark
    But he's an arrant knave.
    Horatio. There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the grave
    to tell us this.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet and Horatio, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 5, l. 123-6. Hamlet fends off questions about his interview with his father's ghost.
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  • ''Horatio. O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!
    Hamlet. And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 5, l. 164-7. After Hamlet's interview with his father's ghost; Horatio has just returned from Wittenberg to Denmark, and so is a "stranger."
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  • ''O gentlemen, the time of life is short!
    To spend that shortness basely were too long.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hotspur, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 5, sc. 2, l. 81-2.
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  • ''Isabella. Yet show some pity.
    Angelo. I show it most of all when I show justice;
    For then I pity those I do not know,
    Which a dismissed offence would after gall.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Isabella and Angelo, in Measure for Measure, act 2, sc. 2, l. 99-102. "Dismissed offence" means one that goes unpunished; "after gall" means afterwards injure or annoy.
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  • ''Shallow. Doth she hold her own well?
    Falstaff. Old, old, Master Shallow.
    Shallow. Nay, she must be old, she cannot choose but be old,
    certain she's old.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Justice Shallow and Falstaff, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 3, sc. 2, l. 205-8. Recalling what happened fifty-five years previously.
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  • ''And what art thou, thou idol ceremony?
    What kind of god art thou, that suffer'st more
    Of mortal griefs than do thy worshippers?
    What are thy rents? What are thy comings-in?
    O ceremony, show me but thy worth.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry V, act 4, sc. 1, l. 237-41 (1600). Part of Henry's soliloquy on the cares of kingship, after pondering, "And what have kings that privates have not too,/Save ceremony?"
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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 Lxxvii

Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear,
Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste;
The vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear,
And of this book this learning mayst thou taste.
The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show
Of mouthed graves will give thee memory;
Thou by thy dial's shady stealth mayst know
Time's thievish progress to eternity.
Look, what thy memory can not contain

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