William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Hear my soul speak:
    The very instant that I saw you, did
    My heart fly to your service, there resides
    To make me slave to it.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Ferdinand, in The Tempest, act 3, sc. 1, l. 63-6. His love makes him a willing "servant" to Miranda.
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  • ''The glow-worm shows the matin to be near,
    And 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Ghost, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 5, l. 89-90. Signaling the end of the interview between Hamlet and the ghost of his father as day approaches.
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  • ''Hamlet. To what base uses we may return, Horatio! Why may
    not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander, till a
    find it stopping a bung-hole?
    Horatio. 'Twere to consider too curiously to consider so.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet and Horatio, in Hamlet, act 5, sc. 1, l. 202-6. Horatio pinpoints Hamlet's self-indulgence in contemplating death so minutely ("curiously").
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  • ''O that this too too solid flesh would melt,
    Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!
    Or that the Everlasting had not fixed
    His canon 'gainst self-slaughter!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 2, l. 129-32. "Canon" means the sixth commandment, "Thou shalt not kill"; "solid" puns on "sullied," contaminated.
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  • ''A plague upon it!
    I have forgot the map.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hotspur, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 3, sc. 1, l. 5-6. The map on which the rebels were to mark out their shares of the kingdom.
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  • ''O, it is excellent
    To have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous
    To use it like a giant.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Isabella, in Measure for Measure, act 2, sc. 2, l. 107-9. Pleading with Angelo for her brother's life.
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  • ''We will eat a last year's pippin of mine own grafting, with a
    dish of caraways, and so forth.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Justice Shallow, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 5, sc. 3, l. 2-3. Apples were often eaten with caraway seeds.
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  • ''This day is called the Feast of Crispian.
    He that outlives this day and comes safe home
    Will stand a-tiptoe when this day is named
    And rouse him at the name of Crispian.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry V, act 4, sc. 3, l. 40-3. October 25 was the feast of St. Crispian, a legendary Roman martyr and patron saint of shoemakers; "safe home" means to England.
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  • ''The great King of kings
    Hath in the table of his law commanded
    That thou shalt do no murder. Will you then
    Spurn at his edict, and fulfill a man's?
    Take heed; for he holds vengeance in his hand
    To hurl upon their heads that break his law.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. King Richard III (I, iv). In the ten commandments, Exodus 20: 13; "table" means tablet or list. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''Lear. Dost thou call me fool, boy?
    Fool. All thy other titles thou hast given away; that thou wast born with.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lear and Fool, in King Lear, act 1, sc. 4, l. 148-50. On King Lear, who has given away his kingdom to his daughters.
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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 Lxvi

Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And guilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,

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