William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun, it shines everywhere.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Feste, in Twelfth Night, act 3, sc. 1, l. 38-9. To Cesario (Viola in disguise), varying the proverb, "the sun shines on all alike"; "foolery" is Feste's profession, but also means foolish behavior.
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  • ''O Hamlet, what a falling off was there!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Ghost, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 5, l. 45-7. On the part of his widow, Gertrude, who has married his brother Claudius.
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  • ''The play, I remember, pleased not the million, 'twas caviare
    to the general.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 2, sc. 2, l. 435-7. "Caviare to the general" means too rare a delicacy for the multitude.
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  • ''He that plays the king shall be welcome.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 2, sc. 2, l. 319. Welcoming the actors who come to play at court.
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  • ''Doomsday is near, die all, die merrily.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hotspur, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 4, sc. 1, l. 134. A rallying call to his fellow rebels as they face a battle against the king's forces.
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  • ''It oft falls out,
    To have what we would have, we speak not what we mean.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Isabella, in Measure for Measure, act 2, sc. 4, l. 117-8. To Angelo; she has overpitched her pleading for the life of her brother.
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  • ''Katherina. Where did you study all this goodly speech?
    Petruchio. It is extempore, from my mother-wit.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Katherina and Petruchio, in The Taming of the Shrew, act 2, sc. 1, l. 262-3. Petruchio has been praising Katherine for sweetness of temper.
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  • ''When the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger;
    Stiffen the sinews, conjure up the blood,
    Disguise fair nature with hard-favored rage;
    Then lend the eye a terrible aspect.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry V, act 3, sc. 1, l. 5-9. Encouraging his soldiers to fight.
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  • ''Well you deserve. They well deserve to have
    That know the strong'st and surest way to get.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Richard, in Richard II, act 3, sc. 3, l. 200-1. To Bolingbroke, who has seized power.
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  • ''No, I will be the pattern of all patience,
    I will say nothing.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lear, in King Lear, act 3, sc. 2, l. 37-8.
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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 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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