William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Husband, I come!
    Now to that name my courage prove my title!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 5, sc. 2, l. 287-8. She welcomes death like a bride going to her husband.
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  • ''Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin
    As self-neglecting.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Dauphin, in Henry V, act 2, sc. 4, l. 74-5. Advising his father.
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  • ''What's mine is yours, and what is yours is mine.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Duke, in Measure for Measure, act 5, sc. 1, l. 537. Offering marriage to Isabella.
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  • ''If this were played upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Fabian, in Twelfth Night, act 3, sc. 4, l. 127-8. Referring to Malvolio's absurd confidence that Olivia is in love with him.
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  • ''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.
    Journeys end in lovers meeting,
    Every wise man's son doth know.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Feste, in Twelfth Night, act 2, sc. 3, l. 39-44. His song of love seems to relate to the love tangles of the play, which do end happily.
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  • ''She will sing the song that pleaseth you,
    And on your eyelids crown the god of sleep,
    Charming your blood with pleasing heaviness.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Glendower, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 3, sc. 1, l. 213-5. Translating his daughter's words to her husband.
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  • ''The play's the thing
    Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 2, sc. 2, l. 605-6 (1604). Referring to the performance of a play depicting his father's murder, as described by the ghost, and the guilty reaction of King Claudius.
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  • ''O momentary grace of mortal men,
    Which we more hunt for than the grace of God!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hastings, in Richard III, act 3, sc. 4, l. 96-7. playing on the meanings of "grace" = (1) the condition of being in favor; (2) divine grace. Hastings has just been sentenced to death.
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  • ''I cannot flatter; I do defy
    The tongues of soothers, but a braver place
    In my heart's love hath no man than yourself.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hotspur, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 4, sc. 1, l. 6-8. To Douglas; they are joining forces with other nobles against King Henry; "soothers" means flatterers.
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  • ''She stripped it from her arm. I see her yet:
    Her pretty action did outsell her gift,
    And yet enriched it too.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Jachimo, in Cymbeline, act 2, sc. 4, l. 101-3. A charming description of an imaginary act; Jachimo is lying about how he came by Imogen's bracelet.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

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.

Read the full of A Fairy Song

Sonnet Lxxvii

Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear,
Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste;
The vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear,
And of this book this learning mayst thou taste.
The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show
Of mouthed graves will give thee memory;
Thou by thy dial's shady stealth mayst know
Time's thievish progress to eternity.
Look, what thy memory can not contain