William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''When tongues speak sweetly, then they name her name,
    And Rosaline they call her.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Berowne, in Love's Labor's Lost, act 3, sc. 1, l. 166-7. Betraying his desire for Rosaline.
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  • ''It is the bright day that brings forth the adder,
    And that craves wary walking.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Brutus, in Julius Caesar, act 2, sc. 1, l. 14-5. "Craves" means requires.
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  • ''You and I are past our dancing days.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Capulet, in Romeo and Juliet, act 1, sc. 5, l. 31. Old Capulet talks with his cousin while watching the dance.
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  • ''Play with your fancies: and in them behold
    Upon the hempen tackle ship-boys climbing;
    Hear the shrill whistle which doth order give
    To sound confused; behold the threaden sails
    Borne with th' invisible and creeping wind.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Chorus, in Henry V, act 3, prologue, l. 7-11. Urging the audience to imagine ships sailing to France; "threaden" means woven with thread.
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  • ''Give me mine angle, we'll to th' river; there,
    My music playing far off, I will betray
    Tawny-finned fishes; my bended hook shall pierce
    Their slimy jaws; and as I draw them up,
    I'll think them every one an Antony,
    And say, "Ah, ha! y' are caught."''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 2, sc. 5, l. 10-5. Imagining getting her hooks into Antony, as we now say; an "angle" is a fishing rod and line.
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  • ''In cases of defense 'tis best to weigh
    The enemy more mighty than he seems.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Dauphin, in Henry V, act 2, sc. 4, l. 43-4. Advising the King of France not to underestimate the strength of English forces.
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  • ''Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Duke, in Measure for Measure, act 3, sc. 1, l. 208. Varying the proverb, "innocence is bold."
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  • ''Fairy. Those that "Hobgoblin" call you, and "Sweet Puck,"
    You do their work, and they shall have good luck.
    Are not you he?
    Puck. Thou speakest aright;
    I am that merry wanderer of the night.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Fairy and Puck, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 2, sc. 1, l. 40-3.
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  • ''I am indeed not her fool, but her corrupter of words.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Feste, in Twelfth Night, act 3, sc. 1, l. 35-6. Referring to his function in relation to the Lady Olivia.
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  • ''At my nativity
    The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes
    Of burning cressets, and at my birth
    The frame and huge foundation of the earth
    Shaked like a coward.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Glendower, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 3, sc. 1, l. 13-7. Events which he says foretold that he would be remarkable; "front" means forehead; "cressets" means fires in metal baskets on poles.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day? (Sonnet 18)

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe, or ...

Read the full of Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day? (Sonnet 18)

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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