William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Where souls do couch on flowers, we'll hand in hand,
    And with our sprightly port make the ghosts gaze.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Antony, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 4, sc. 14, l. 52-3. Imagining a blissful afterlife united with Cleopatra.
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  • ''When daffodils begin to peer,
    With heigh, the doxy over the dale,
    Why then comes in the sweet o'the year,
    For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Autolycus, in The Winter's Tale, act 4, sc. 3, l. 1-4. The rogue Autolycus bursts in to change the mood from winter to spring, singing of renewed vitality ("red blood") doing away with the paleness of winter; a "doxy" is slang for a wench or, in modern slang, a floozy.
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  • ''Bernardo. It was about to speak when the cock crew.
    Horatio. And then it started like a guilty thing
    Upon a fearful summons.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Bernardo and Horatio, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 1, l. 147-9. Describing the ghost of Hamlet's father; "fearful" means terrifying.
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  • ''How ill this taper burns! Ha! Who comes here?
    I think it is the weakness of mine eyes
    That shapes this monstrous apparition.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Brutus, in Julius Caesar, act 4, sc. 3, l. 275-7. On the entry of the ghost of Caesar.
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  • ''Camillo. Prosperity's the very bond of love,
    Whose fresh complexion and whose heart together
    Affliction alters.
    Perdita. One of these is true:
    I think affliction may subdue the cheek,
    But not take in the mind.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Camillo and Perdita, in The Winter's Tale, act 4, sc. 4, l. 573-7. Camillo is trying to help Perdita escape from the anger of Polixenes.
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  • ''Downy windows, close,
    And golden Phoebus never be beheld
    Of eyes again so royal!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Charmian, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 5, sc. 2, l. 316-8. Closing Cleopatra's eyes after her death.
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  • ''No more but e'en a woman, and commanded
    By such poor passion as the maid that milks
    And does the meanest chares.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 4, sc. 15, l. 73-5. In grief the Queen discovers her common humanity.
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  • ''Ah, poor our sex! This fault in us I find,
    The error of our eye directs our mind.
    What error leads must err; O then conclude,
    Minds swayed by eyes are full of turpitude.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cressida, in Troilus and Cressida, act 5, sc. 2, l. 109-12. One abandoning Troilus for Diomedes.
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  • ''That which in mean men we entitle patience
    Is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Duchess of Gloucester, in Richard II, act 1, sc. 2, l. 33-4. Accusing John of Gaunt of cowardice for taking no action about the murder of his brother.
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  • ''I will make an end of my dinner; there's pippins and cheese to come.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Evans, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, act 1, sc. 2, l. 11-13. Apples and cheese round off the meal.
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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 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?

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