William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Grim-visaged War hath smoothed his wrinkled front;
    And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds
    To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
    He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber
    To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. King Richard III (I, i). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''He must needs go that the devil drives.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lavatch, in All's Well That Ends Well, act 1, sc. 3, l. 29-30. Proverbial.
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  • ''Is this the nature
    Whom passion could not shake? whose solid virtue
    The shot of accident nor dart of chance
    Could neither graze nor pierce?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lodovico, in Othello, act 4, sc. 1, l. 265-8. Amazed at the angry passion Othello shows.
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  • ''Why should I play the Roman fool and die
    On my own sword?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 5, sc. 8, l. 1-2. Suicide was advocated by the Roman Stoics, notably Seneca.
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  • ''Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war,
    How to divide the conquest of thy sight;
    Mine eye my heart thy picture's sight would bar,
    My heart mine eye the freedom of that right.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war (l. 1-4). InvP. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''Under an old oak, whose boughs were mossed with age
    And high top bald with dry antiquity.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Oliver, in As You Like It, act 4, sc. 3, l. 104-5.
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  • ''If it were now to die,
    'Twere now to be most happy; for I fear
    My soul hath her content so absolute
    That not another comfort like to this
    Succeeds in unknown fate.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Othello, in Othello, act 2, sc. 1, l. 189-93. This ironically does turn out to be Othello's happiest moment.
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  • ''Phebe. Thou hast my love; is not that neighborly?
    Silvius. I would have you.
    Phebe. Why, that were covetousness.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Phebe and Silvius, in As You Like It, act 3, sc. 5, l. 90-1. "Thou shalt not covet ... any thing that is thy neighbor's" is God's commandment, Exodus 20.17.
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  • ''There's no motion
    That tends to vice in man, but I affirm
    It is the woman's part.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Posthumus, in Cymbeline, act 2, sc. 5, l. 20-2. Posthumus turns against all women, falsely believing Imogen to be unfaithful; "motion" means impulse.
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  • ''I find my zenith doth depend upon
    A most auspicious star, whose influence
    If now I court not, but omit, my fortunes
    Will ever after droop.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prospero, in The Tempest, act 1, sc. 2, l. 181-4. "Zenith" means height of fortune.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

Fear No More

Fear no more the heat o' the sun;
Nor the furious winter's rages,
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages;
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney sweepers come to dust.

Fear no more the frown of the great,
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke:
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning-flash,
Nor the all-dread thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy ...

Read the full of Fear No More

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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