William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''The very bottom and the soul of hope,
    The very list, the very utmost bound
    Of all our fortunes.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hotspur, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 4, sc. 1, l. 50-2. Thinking of what it would mean to risk everything; "list" means boundary.
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  • ''But man, proud man,
    Dressed in a little brief authority,
    Most ignorant of what he's most assured,
    His glassy essence, like an angry ape
    Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
    As makes the angels weep.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Isabella, in Measure for Measure, act 2, sc. 2, l. 117-22. Pleading with Angelo for her brother's life, she reminds him of the pride that goes with authority, and how ignorant men are of their souls, the "essence" that like a glass or mirror is reflected from God.
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  • ''A friend i'the court is better than a penny in purse.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Justice Shallow, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 5, sc. 1, l. 30-1.
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  • ''Gentlemen in England now abed
    Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry V, act 4, sc. 3, l. 64-7. encouraging his army to fight. Saint Crispin was martyrd with Crispian, and their joint festival is on October 25, the date of the battle of Agincourt.
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  • ''We were not born to sue, but to command.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Richard, in Richard II, act 1, sc. 1.
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  • ''Ingratitude, thou marble-hearted fiend,
    More hideous when thou show'st thee in a child
    Than the sea-monster.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lear, in King Lear, act 1, sc. 4, l. 259-61.
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  • ''Have you not a moist eye, a dry hand, a yellow cheek, a white
    beard, a decreasing leg, an increasing belly? Is not your
    voice broken, your wind short, your chin double, your wit
    single, and every part about you blasted with antiquity? and
    will you yet call yourself young?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lord Chief Justice, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 1, sc. 2, l. 180-5. Rebuking old Falstaff for calling himself young.
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  • ''He hath honored me of late, and I have bought
    Golden opinions from all sorts of people,
    Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,
    Not cast aside so soon.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 7, l. 32-5.
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  • ''O wonder!
    How many goodly creatures are there here!
    How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world
    That has such people in't!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Miranda, in The Tempest, act 5, sc. 1, l. 184-7 (1623). Prospero replies: "'Tis new to thee." Brave New World became the title of Aldous Huxley's dystopian novel of 1932.
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  • ''Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Olivia, in Twelfth Night, act 3, sc. 1, l. 156.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

O Mistress Mine, Where Are You Roaming? (Twelfth Night, Act Ii, Scene Iii)

O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O stay and hear! your true-love's coming
That can sing both high and low;
Trip no further, pretty sweeting,
Journey's end in lovers' meeting-
Every wise man's son doth know.

What is love? 'tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What's to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty,-
Then come kiss me, Sweet and twenty,
Youth's a stuff will not endure.

Read the full of O Mistress Mine, Where Are You Roaming? (Twelfth Night, Act Ii, Scene Iii)

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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