William Shakespeare Quotes
''Honest plain words best pierce the ear of grief.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Berowne, in Love's Labor's Lost, act 5, sc. 2, l. 753. News of the death of the Princess's father reduces the courtiers to plain-speaking.
''What you would work me to, I have some aim.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Brutus, in Julius Caesar, act 1, sc. 2, l. 163. "Aim" means idea.
''We go to gain a little patch of groundWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Captain, in Hamlet, act 4, sc. 4, l. 18 (1604). The passage in which the Captain's speech occurs is absent from the 1623 Folio edition.
That hath in it no profit but the name.''
''But pardon, gentles all,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Chorus, in Henry V, prologue, l. 8-11. Apologizing to the audience ("gentles" means gentlemen and gentlewomen) for the inadequacy of the actors on their stage ("scaffold").
The flat unraised spirits that hath dared
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object.''
''O, my oblivion is a very Antony,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 1, sc. 3, l. 90-1. Her forgetfulness (oblivion) is due to her preoccupation with Antony, so that she forgets herself, and at the same time implies that he forgets her in going to Rome.
And I am all forgotten.''
''Fear no more the heat o' the sunWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Cymbeline (IV, ii). "Fidele's Dirge" sung as a duet with Arviragus over the supposedly dead body of Fidele (the disguised Imogen). The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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 o' 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-dreaded thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy and moan:
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee and come to dust.''
''When thou art old and rich,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Duke, in Measure for Measure, act 3, sc. 1, l. 36-8. Preparing Claudio to face death.
Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor beauty,
To make thy riches pleasant.''
'''Tis much when sceptres are in children's hands,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Exeter, in Henry VI, Part 1, act 4, sc. 1, l. 192-4.
But more when envy breeds unkind division:
There comes the ruin, there begins confusion.''
''O, he's drunk, Sir Toby, an hour agone; his eyes were set at eight i' th' morning.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Feste, in Twelfth Night, act 5, sc. 1, l. 198-9. Referring to the surgeon who should attend to the injured Sir Toby.
''But soft, methinks I scent the morning air,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Ghost, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 5, l. 58-9. The ghost has to return to his "prison-house" by day.
Brief let me be.''
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All The World's A Stage
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in ...
Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear,
Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste;
The vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear,
And of this book this learning mayst thou taste.
The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show
Of mouthed graves will give thee memory;
Thou by thy dial's shady stealth mayst know
Time's thievish progress to eternity.
Look, what thy memory can not contain