William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''He was perfumed like a milliner.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hotspur, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 1, sc. 3, l. 33-5. Describing an effeminate courtier who appeared thus inappropriately on a battlefield.
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  • ''Why, all the souls that were were forfeit once,
    And He that might the vantage best have took
    Found out the remedy. How would you be
    If He which is the top of judgment should
    But judge you as you are? O, think on that,
    And mercy then will breathe within your lips,
    Like man new made.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Isabella, in Measure for Measure, act 2, sc. 2, l. 73-9. Isabella is recalling Christ's sermon on the mount, Matthew 7, beginning, "Judge not, that ye be not judged."
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  • ''A light heart lives long.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Katherine, in Love's Labor's Lost, act 5, sc. 2, l. 18. "Light" = merry, but could also mean unchaste.
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  • ''Here was a royal fellowship of death.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry V, act 4, sc. 8, l. 101. On hearing of the 126 French princes and nobles killed in the battle of Agincourt.
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  • ''Let's choose executors and talk of wills.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Richard, in Richard II, act 3, sc. 2, l. 148. A sign of his despair.
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  • ''Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia,
    The gods themselves throw incense.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lear, in King Lear, act 5, sc. 3, l. 20-1. Lear here seems to anticipate the death of Cordelia, who is soon to be hung in prison.
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  • ''Ignorance is the curse of God,
    Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lord Saye, in Henry VI, Part 2, act 4, sc. 7, l. 73-4.
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  • ''Out, out, brief candle.
    Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 5, sc. 5, l. 22-7 (1623). On hearing of the death of Lady Macbeth.
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  • ''What's a joint of mutton or two in a whole Lent?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Mistress Quickly, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 2, sc. 4, l. 346-7. No meat was supposed to be eaten in the whole six weeks of Lent before Easter.
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  • ''Cesario, by the roses of the spring,
    By maidhood, honor, truth, and everything,
    I love thee so, that maugre all thy pride,
    Nor wit nor reason can my passion hide.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Olivia, in Twelfth Night, act 3, sc. 1, l. 149-52. She doesn't yet know that Cesario is Viola in disguise; "maugre" means in spite of.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

Fear No More

Fear no more the heat o' the sun;
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 of 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-dread thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy ...

Read the full of Fear No More

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?

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