William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''The swan's down feather,
    That stands upon the swell at the full of tide,
    And neither way inclines.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Antony, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 3, sc. 2, l. 48-50. His image of Octavia's state of mind as she goes to Greece with him, and leaves her brother Octavius in Rome.
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  • ''No jutty, frieze,
    Buttress, nor coign of vantage, but this bird
    Hath made his pendant bed and procreant cradle;
    Where they most breed and haunt, I have observed
    The air is delicate.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Banquo, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 6, l. 6-10.
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  • ''Revels, dances, masques, and merry hours
    Forerun fair love, strewing her way with flowers.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Berowne, in Love's Labor's Lost, act 4, sc. 3, l. 376-7. Berowne's plan to win over the ladies of the court.
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  • '''Tis a common proof
    That lowliness is young ambition's ladder.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Brutus, in Julius Caesar, act 2, sc. 1, l. 21-2.
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  • '''Tis not hard, I think,
    For men so old as we to keep the peace.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Capulet, in Romeo and Juliet, act 1, sc. 2, l. 2-3. The Prince has bound old Capulet and Montague to keep the peace.
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  • ''Still be kind,
    And eke out our performance with your mind.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Chorus, in Henry V, act 3, prologue, l. 34-5. Addressing the audience.
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  • ''If thou and nature can so gently part,
    The stroke of death is as a lover's pinch,
    Which hurts, and is desired.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 5, sc. 2, l. 295-6. Addressing Iras, one of her attendants, who dies just before Cleopatra herself.
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  • ''From the rising of the lark to the lodging of the lamb.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Dauphin, in Henry V, act 3, sc. 7, l. 31-32. I.e., from dawn to dusk, when the lamb lies down to sleep.
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  • ''I love the people,
    But do not like to stage me to their eyes;
    Though it do well, I do not relish well
    Their loud applause and aves vehement;
    Nor do I think the man of safe discretion
    That does affect it.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Duke, in Measure for Measure, act 1, sc. 1, l. 67-72. Deputizing Angelo to rule Vienna in his place; "aves" means cries of acclaim; "safe" means sound.
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  • ''To awake your dormouse valor, to put fire in your heart, and brimstone in your liver.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Fabian, in Twelfth Night, act 3, sc. 2, l. 19-20. Trying to provoke Sir Andrew to challenge Cesario (Viola); "brimstone" means sulphur.
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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 Lxvi

Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And guilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,