William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Adieu, and take thy praise with thee to heaven!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince Hal, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 5, sc. 4, l. 99. Bidding farewell to the dead Hotspur.
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  • ''And the country proverb known,
    That every man should take his own,
    In your waking shall be shown.
    Jack shall have Jill,
    Naught shall go ill:
    The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Puck, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 3, sc. 2, l. 458-63. All these phrases are proverbial; Puck is squeezing magic juice on the eyelids of the sleeping lovers to restore peace and reconciliation.
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  • ''Ha, banishment? Be merciful, say "death";
    For exile hath more terror in his look,
    Much more than death. Do not say "banishment!"''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Romeo, in Romeo and Juliet, act 3, sc. 3, l. 12-4. On hearing from Friar Lawrence that he is banished from Verona, and hence from Juliet.
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  • ''What great ones do, the less will prattle of.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Sea Captain, in Twelfth Night, act 1, sc. 2, l. 33. "Less" means social inferiors.
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  • ''For we which now behold these present days
    Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Sonnet 106.
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  • ''They that have power to hurt and will do none,
    That do not do the thing they most do show,
    Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,
    Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow—
    They rightly do inherit heaven's graces
    And husband nature's riches from expense;
    They are the lords and owners of their faces,
    Others but stewards of their excellence.
    The summer's flower is to the summer sweet,
    Though to itself it only live and die;
    But if that flower with base infection meet,
    The basest weed outbraves his dignity:
    For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
    Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. They that have power to hurt and will do none (l. 1-14). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''Perseverance, dear my lord,
    Keeps honor bright; to have done is to hang
    Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail,
    In monumental mockery.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Ulysses, in Troilus and Cressida, act 3, sc. 3, l. 150-3. "Rusty mail" = rusty suit of armor; addressing Achilles, who has refused to fight for the Greeks.
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  • ''Like to the time o' th' year between the extremes
    Of hot and cold, he was nor sad nor merry.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Alexas, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 1, sc. 5, l. 51-2. Reporting Antony's mood when he sent a message to Cleopatra.
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  • ''Fall not a tear, I say, one of them rates
    All that is won and lost.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Antony, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 3, sc. 11, l. 69-70. Spoken to the penitent Cleopatra after the Battle of Actium; "Fall" means let fall.
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  • ''This guest of summer,
    The temple-haunting martlet, does approve,
    By his loved mansionry, that the heaven's breath
    Smells wooingly here.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Banquo, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 6, l. 3-6. "Martlet" means house-martin, that migrates in winter, and builds nests under the eaves of houses.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

Fear No More

Fear no more the heat o' the sun;
Nor the furious winter's rages,
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages;
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney sweepers come to dust.

Fear no more the frown of the great,
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke:
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning-flash,
Nor the all-dread thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy ...

Read the full of Fear No More

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

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