William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Heaven doth with us as we with torches do,
    Not light them for themselves; for if our virtues
    Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike
    As if we had them not.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Duke, in Measure for Measure, act 1, sc. 1, l. 32-5. Echoing various injunctions of Jesus in the gospels, as at Matthew 5:14-16 and Luke 8:16, e.g., "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works"; "all alike" means just the same.
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  • ''A coward, a most devout coward, religious in it.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Fabian, in Twelfth Night, act 3, sc. 4, l. 389-90. Persuading Sir Andrew that Cesario is a coward.
  • ''She will keep no fool, sir, till she be married, and fools are as like husbands as pilchards are to herrings—the husband's the bigger.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Feste, in Twelfth Night, act 3, sc. 1, l. 33-5. Referring to Olivia; "pilchards," small fish, are common off European coasts.
  • ''List, list, O list!
    If thou didst ever thy dear father love—
    ...
    Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.
    ...
    Murder most foul, as in the best it is,
    But this most foul, strange, and unnatural.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Ghost, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 5, l. 22-3, 25, 27-8. calling on Hamlet to revenge (by killing Claudius? And so committing another "murder most foul"?).
  • ''Use almost can change the stamp of nature.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 3, sc. 4, l. 168. Proverbial; "stamp of nature" means innate characteristics.
  • ''We are time's subjects, and time bids be gone.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hastings, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 1, sc. 3, l. 110. Time calls on the rebels to act, not to go on talking.
  • ''Worse than the sun in March,
    This praise doth nourish agues.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hotspur, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 4, sc. 1, l. 111-2. On hearing praise of Prince Hal; "agues" means fevers, thought to come from mists raised by the sun.
  • ''Ignominy in ransom and free pardon
    Are of two houses; lawful mercy
    Is nothing kin to foul redemption.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Isabella, in Measure for Measure, act 2, sc. 4, l. 112-4. Rejecting Angelo's offer of freedom for her brother at a price (Isabella's chastity).
  • ''A woman moved is like a fountain troubled.
    Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty,
    And while it is so, none so dry or thirsty
    Will deign to sip or touch one drop of it.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Katherina, in The Taming of the Shrew, act 5, sc. 2, l. 142-5. Katherine lectures the angry ("moved") widow; "ill-seeming" = ugly.
  • ''I will weep for thee,
    For this revolt of thine methinks is like
    Another fall of man.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry V, act 2, sc. 2, l. 140-2. Referring to Adam's original transgression (Genesis 3).

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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

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 ...

Read the full of All The World's A Stage

Sonnet Cviii

What's in the brain that ink may character
Which hath not figured to thee my true spirit?
What's new to speak, what new to register,
That may express my love or thy dear merit?
Nothing, sweet boy; but yet, like prayers divine,
I must, each day say o'er the very same,
Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine,
Even as when first I hallow'd thy fair name.
So that eternal love in love's fresh case

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