William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''There's no art
    To find the mind's construction in the face:
    He was a gentleman on whom I built
    An absolute trust.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Duncan, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 4, l. 11-4. Deferring to the traitor Cawdor.
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  • ''Do I not bate? do I not dwindle? Why, my skin hangs about me like an old lady's loose gown; I am withered like an old
    apple-john.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 3, sc. 3, l. 2-4. "Bate" means abate, grow thin; "apple-john" means kind of apple which was kept until the skin shrivelled.
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  • ''He that has and a little tiny wit—
    With heigh-ho, the wind and the rain—
    Must make content with his fortunes fit,
    Though the rain it raineth every day.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Fool, in King Lear, act 3, sc. 2, l. 74-7. "Wit" means brain or intelligence; a spin-off from a song sung by Feste in Twelfth Night.
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  • ''All torment, trouble, wonder, and amazement
    Inhabits here. Some heavenly power guide us
    Out of this fearful country!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gonzalo, in The Tempest, act 5, sc. 1, l. 104-6. Concerned at the distraction suffered by Alonso; the "country" is Prospero's island.
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  • ''In the beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsinore?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 2, sc. 2, l. 269-70. Questioning Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, his old schoolfellows, as to why they have come to Denmark; "beaten way" means well-trodden track, i.e., be honest with me.
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  • ''There stands the castle, by yon tuft of trees.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Henry Percy, in Richard II, act 2, sc. 3, l. 53. The castle defended by Richard II.
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  • ''To suckle fools, and chronicle small beer.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 2, sc. 1, l. 163 (1623). Describing the role of "a deserving woman." Desdemona calls this a "most lame and impotent conclusion."
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  • ''Then a soldier,
    Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
    Jealous in honor, sudden, and quick in quarrel,
    Seeking the bubble reputation
    Even in the cannon's mouth.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Jaques, in As You Like It, act 2, sc. 7, l. 149-53. The fourth of the "seven ages" (l. 143) of man; he has moustaches (any facial hair was a beard) like a leopard.
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  • ''Pluck down my officers, break my decrees,
    For now a time is come to mock at form.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 4, sc. 5, l. 117-8. "Form" means ceremony or tradition.
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  • ''What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted?
    Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just;
    And he but naked, though locked up in steel,
    Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in King Henry VI pt. 2, act 3, sc. 2, l. 232-5 (1600).
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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 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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