William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Tell me where is fancy bred,
    Or in the heart or in the head?
    How begot, how nourished?
    Reply, reply.
    It is engendered in the eyes,
    With gazing fed, and fancy dies
    In the cradle where it lies.
    Let us all ring fancy's knell.
    I'll begin it. Ding, dong, bell.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Song, in The Merchant of Venice, act 3, sc. 2, l. 63-71. The rhymes and the idea of dying help to guide Bassanio to choose the leaden casket; love ("fancy") was supposed to enter the heart through the eyes.
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  • ''We were as twinned lambs that did frisk i' the sun
    And bleat the one at th' other. What we changed
    Was innocence for innocence; we knew not
    The doctrine of ill-doing, nor dreamed
    That any did. Had we pursued that life,
    And our weak spirits ne'er been higher reared
    With stronger blood, we should have answered heaven
    Boldly "Not guilty," the imposition cleared
    Hereditary ours.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. The Winter's Tale (I, ii). On his childhood friendship with Leontes; "changes" means exchanged. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
  • ''There's language in her eye, her cheek, her lip,
    Nay, her foot speaks; her wanton spirits look out
    At every joint and motive of her body.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Ulysses, in Troilus and Cressida, act 4, sc. 5, l. 55-7. Condemning Cressida, who has been kissed in turn by all the Greek leaders.
  • ''He is as valiant as the lion, churlish as the bear, slow as the elephant.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Alexander, in Troilus and Cressida, act 1, sc. 2, l. 20-1. Describing the huge but dim-witted Ajax.
  • ''Thou art a soldier only, speak no more.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Antony, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 2, sc. 2, l. 107. Rebuking his lieutenant Enobarbus.
  • ''There's husbandry in heaven,
    Their candles are all out.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Banquo, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 1, l. 4-5. Husbandry means thrift, meaning the stars are not visible.
  • ''Our wooing doth not end like an old play.
    Jack hath not Jill.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Berowne, in Love's Labor's Lost, act 5, sc. 2, l. 874-5. The courtiers have to practice austerity for a year before the ladies will have them.
  • ''For I can raise no money by vile means.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Brutus, in Julius Caesar, act 4, sc. 3, l. 71.
  • ''I promise you, but for your company,
    I would have been a-bed an hour ago.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Capulet, in Romeo and Juliet, act 3, sc. 4, l. 6-7. To Paris, who has been hoping to see Juliet.
  • ''Thus far with rough and all-unable pen
    Our bending author hath pursued the story.
    In little room confining mighty men.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Chorus, in Henry V, act 5, epilogue, l. 1-3. The "little room" refers to the theater.

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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

All The World's A Stage

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in ...

Read the full of All The World's A Stage

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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