William Shakespeare Quotes
''O these encounterers, so glib of tongue,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Ulysses, in Troilus and Cressida, act 4, sc. 5, l. 58-63. His scornful assessment of Cressida, as she arrives in the Grecian camp; "ticklish" = lustful.
That give a coasting welcome ere it comes,
And wide unclasp the tables of their thoughts
To every ticklish reader! Set them down
For sluttish spoils of opportunity
And daughters of the game.''
''Thy blood and virtueWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. All's Well That Ends Well (I, i). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
Contend for empire in thee, and thy goodness
Share with thy birthright! Love all, trust a few,
Do wrong to none. Be able for thine enemy
Rather in power than use, and keep thy friend
Under thy own life's key. Be checked for silence
But never taxed for speech.''
''When Caesar says, "Do this," it is performed.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Antony, in Julius Caesar, act 1, sc. 2, l. 10. Responding to an order given by Caesar.
''Merciful powers,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Banquo, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 1, l. 7-9. "Powers" may refer to the order of angels deputed to resist demons; the orders are listed in John Milton's Paradise Lost, V. 601, as "Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Powers."
Restrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature
Gives way to in repose!''
''Never durst poet touch a pen to writeWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Berowne, in Love's Labor's Lost, act 4, sc. 3, l. 343-6. Berowne's extravagant idea of the power of love poetry.
Until his ink were tempered with love's sighs.
O then his lines would ravish savage ears,
And plant in tyrants mild humility.''
''Thou art a fellow of a good respect;William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Brutus, in Julius Caesar, act 5, sc. 5, l. 45-6. Asking Strato to kill him; "respect" means reputation; "smatch" means touch, smack.
Thy life hath had some smatch of honor in it.''
''Such comfort as do lusty young men feelWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Capulet, in Romeo and Juliet, act 1, sc. 2, l. 26-8. Referring to the feast and dance Capulet is planning.
When well-apparelled April on the heel
Of limping winter treads.''
''Sit and see,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Chorus, in Henry V, act 4, prologue, l. 52-3. Asking the audience to imagine the battle of Agincourt as it really happened.
Minding true things by what their mockeries be.''
''There is nothing left remarkableWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 4, sc. 15, l. 67-8. Her view of a world without Antony.
Beneath the visiting moon.''
''I will not change my horse with any that treads but on fourWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Dauphin, in Henry V, act 3, sc. 7, l. 11-12, 15-16. "Pasterns" means hooves.
pasterns.... When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk; he
trots the air.''
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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.
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