William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Death lies on her like an untimely frost
    Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Capulet, in Romeo and Juliet, act 4, sc. 5, l. 28-9. Old Capulet thinks Juliet is dead.
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  • ''A largess universal, like the sun,
    His liberal eye doth give to everyone,
    Thawing cold fear.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Chorus, in Henry V, act 4, prologue, l. 43. On the influence of the King on his army; "largess" means bounty.
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  • ''Where art thou, death?
    Come hither, come! Come, come, and take a queen
    Worth many babes and beggars!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 5, sc. 2, l. 46-8. Preferring death to being a captive.
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  • ''By med'cine life may be prolong'd, yet death
    Will seize the doctor too.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cymbeline, in Cymbeline, act 5, sc. 5, l. 29-30. On hearing that his Queen, who compounded drugs herself, is dead.
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  • ''No might nor greatness in mortality
    Can censure scape; back-wounding calumny
    The whitest virtue strikes. What king so strong
    Can tie the gall up in the slanderous tongue?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Duke, in Measure for Measure, act 3, sc. 2, l. 185-8. Not even the most virtuous can escape ("scape") slander; the Duke, in disguise, has listened to Lucio slandering him.
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  • ''More matter for a May morning.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Fabian, in Twelfth Night, act 3, sc. 4, l. 142. That is, fit for May day sports; Sir Andrew has arrived with his absurd challenge to Cesario.
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  • ''Present mirth hath present laughter
    What's to come is still unsure.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Feste, in Twelfth Night, act 2, sc. 3, l. 47-8 (1623). Sung to Sir Toby Belch and Sir Andrew Aguecheek. The lines gave Noël Coward a title for his play, Present Laughter.
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  • ''Glendower. I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur. Why, so can I, or so can any man.
    But will they come when you do call for them?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Glendower and Hotspur, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 3, sc. 1, l. 52-4. Glendower's claims undermined; "vasty deep" means great abyss, the underworld.
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  • ''Use every man after his desert, and who should scape whipping?
    Use them after your own honor and dignity—the less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 2, sc. 2, l. 529-31. Asking Polonius to deal well with the actors.
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  • ''East, west, north, south, or like a school broke up,
    Each hurries toward his home and sporting-place.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hastings, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 4, sc. 2, l. 104-5. On an army dispersing for home.
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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 Lxxvii

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

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