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

O Mistress Mine, Where Are You Roaming? (Twelfth Night, Act Ii, Scene Iii)

O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O stay and hear! your true-love's coming
That can sing both high and low;
Trip no further, pretty sweeting,
Journey's end in lovers' meeting-
Every wise man's son doth know.

What is love? 'tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What's to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty,-
Then come kiss me, Sweet and twenty,
Youth's a stuff will not endure.

Read the full of O Mistress Mine, Where Are You Roaming? (Twelfth Night, Act Ii, Scene Iii)

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