William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''I had rather be a toad,
    And live upon the vapour of a dungeon
    Than keep a corner in the thing I love
    For others' uses.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Othello, in Othello, act 3, sc. 3.
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  • ''Doth Fortune play the huswife with me now?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Pistol, in Henry V, act 5, sc. 1, l. 80. "Huswife" means hussy; he complains that fortune is being fickle; proverbial.
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  • ''Prince Hal. I never thought to hear thee speak again.
    King Henry. Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince Hal and King Henry, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 4, sc. 5, l. 92. The King thinks his son wished him dead.
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  • ''Shall we their fond pageant see?
    Lord, what fools these mortals be!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Puck, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 3, sc. 2, l. 115. On the confusions of the lovers; "fond" means both foolish and affectionate.
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  • ''Romeo. Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace!
    Thou talk'st of nothing.
    Mercutio. True, I talk of dreams,
    Which are the children of an idle brain,
    Begot of nothing but vain fantasy,
    Which is as thin of substance as the air,
    And more inconstant than the wind.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Romeo and Mercutio, in Romeo and Juliet, act 1, sc. 4, l. 95-100. Mercutio implies that Romeo's love for Rosaline is as much a vain fantasy as a dream.
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  • ''The greater cantle of the world is lost
    With very ignorance, we have kissed away
    Kingdoms and provinces.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Scarus, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 3, sc. 10, l. 6-8. After Antony has lost the Battle of Actium against Caesar.
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  • ''Orpheus with his lute made trees
    And the mountain tops that freeze
    Bow themselves when he did sing.
    To his music plants and flowers
    Ever sprung, as sun and showers
    There had made a lasting spring.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Song, in Henry VIII, act 3, sc. 1, l. 3-8.
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  • ''There have been,
    Or I am much deceived, cuckolds ere now;
    And many a man there is, even at this present,
    Now while I speak this, holds his wife by th' arm,
    That little thinks she has been sluiced in 's absence
    And his pond fished by his next neighbor, by
    Sir Smile, his neighbor. Nay, there's comfort in 't
    Whiles other men have gates and those gates opened,
    As mine, against their will. Should all despair
    That have revolted wives, the tenth of mankind
    Would hang themselves.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. The Winter's Tale (I, ii). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''The amity that wisdom knits not, folly may easily untie.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Ulysses, in Troilus and Cressida, act 2, sc. 3, l. 101-2. Referring to the friendship of Ajax and Achilles.
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  • ''There is no man hath a virtue that he hath not a glimpse of, nor any man an attaint but he carries some stain of it.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Alexander, in Troilus and Cressida, act 1, sc. 2, l. 24-6. Referring to Ajax; "attaint" = vice.
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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 Li

Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed:
From where thou art why should I haste me thence?
Till I return, of posting is no need.
O, what excuse will my poor beast then find,
When swift extremity can seem but slow?
Then should I spur, though mounted on the wind;
In winged speed no motion shall I know:
Then can no horse with my desire keep pace;

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