William Shakespeare Quotes
''I had rather be a toad,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Othello, in Othello, act 3, sc. 3.
And live upon the vapour of a dungeon
Than keep a corner in the thing I love
For others' uses.''
''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.
''Prince Hal. I never thought to hear thee speak again.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.
King Henry. Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought.''
''Shall we their fond pageant see?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.
Lord, what fools these mortals be!''
''Romeo. Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace!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.
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.''
''The greater cantle of the world is lostWilliam 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.
With very ignorance, we have kissed away
Kingdoms and provinces.''
''Orpheus with his lute made treesWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Song, in Henry VIII, act 3, sc. 1, l. 3-8.
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.''
''There have been,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.
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.''
''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.
''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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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.
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