William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''I would not wish
    Any companion in the world but you.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Miranda, in The Tempest, act 3, sc. 1, l. 54-5. Admitting her love for Ferdinand.
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  • ''O, what a deal of scorn looks beautiful
    In the contempt and anger of his lip!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Olivia, in Twelfth Night, act 3, sc. 1, l. 145-6. After an interview with Cesario, really Viola in disguise.
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  • ''O, now for ever
    Farewell the tranquil mind, farewell content,
    Farewell the plumèd troops and the big wars
    That makes ambition virtue! O, farewell!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Othello, in Othello, act 3, sc. 3, l. 347-50. Jealousy in love destroys Othello as a soldier.
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  • ''A play there is, my lord, some ten words long,
    Which is as brief as I have known a play,
    But by ten words, my lord, it is too long,
    Which makes it tedious.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Philostrate, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 5, sc. 1, l. 61-4. Advising Theseus not to watch "Pyramus and Thisbe."
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  • ''Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince Escalus, in Romeo and Juliet, act 3, sc. 1. Following Romeo's killing of Tybalt.
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  • ''As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,
    Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,
    Rising and cawing at the gun's report,
    Sever themselves and madly sweep the sky—
    So at his sight away his fellows fly.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Puck, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 3, sc. 2, l. 20-4. "Russet-pated choughs, many in sort" means jackdaws with dun-colored heads in a large flock; "sever themselves" means scatter, as Bottom's friends scattered when they saw his ass's head.
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  • ''Romeo. I dreamt a dream tonight.
    Mercutio. And so did I.
    Romeo. Well, what was yours?
    Mercutio. That dreamers often lie.
    Romeo. In bed asleep, while they do dream things true.
    Mercutio. O then I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
    She is the fairies' midwife, and she comes
    In shape no bigger than an agate stone
    On the forefinger of an alderman,
    Drawn with a team of little atomi
    Over men's noses as they lie asleep.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Romeo and Mercutio, in Romeo and Juliet, act 1, sc. 4, l. 50-8. Mercutio's fairy tale seems meant to divert Romeo from his preoccupation with Rosaline; agates were carved with tiny figures (like "atomi") and used as seal rings by town officials (aldermen).
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  • ''Salerio. Why, I am sure if he forfeit thou wilt not take his flesh. What's that good for?
    Shylock. To bait fish withal—if it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Salerio and Shylock, in The Merchant of Venice, act 3, sc. 1, l. 51-4. On the news that ships bearing Antonio's goods have been lost at sea.
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  • ''Hark, hark, the lark at heaven's gate sings,
    And Phoebus' gins arise,
    His steeds to water at those springs
    On chaliced flowers that lies;
    And winking Mary-buds begin to ope their golden eyes;
    With every thing that pretty is, my lady sweet, arise;
    Arise, arise!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Song, in Cymbeline, act 2, sc. 3, l. 20-26. Sung to wake Imogen.
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  • ''Will you buy any tape,
    Or lace for your cape,
    My dainty duck, my dear-a?
    Any silk, and thread,
    And toys for your head,
    Of the new'st and finest, finest wear-a?
    Come to the pedlar;
    Money's a meddler,
    That doth utter all men's ware-a.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. The Winter's Tale (IV, iii). OBSC. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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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 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?