William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''If thou art rich, thou'rt poor,
    For like an ass, whose back with ingots bows,
    Thou bear'st thy heavy riches but a journey,
    And death unloads thee.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Duke, in Measure for Measure, act 3, sc. 1, l. 25-8. Preparing Claudio to face death.
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  • ''Over hill, over dale,
    Thorough bush, thorough briar,
    Over park, over pale,
    Thorough flood, thorough fire;
    I do wander everywhere
    Swifter than the moon's sphere.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Fairy, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 2, sc. 1, l. 2-7. "Thorough" means through (as in the modern "thoroughfare"); a pale is a fence, which would not stop fairies.
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  • ''The old saying is 'The third pays for all.'''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Feste, in Twelfth Night, act 5, sc. 1, l. 37. The phrase has to do with the mystique attaching to the number three.
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  • ''I framed to the harp
    Many an English ditty lovely well.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Glendower, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 3, sc. 1, l. 121-2.
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  • ''We are arrant knaves all, believe none of us.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 3, sc. 1, l. 128. In Hamlet's anger against Ophelia he denounces all men.
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  • ''You have both said well,
    And on the cause and question now in hand
    Have glozed, but superficially—not much
    Unlike young men whom Aristotle thought
    Unfit to hear moral philosophy.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hector, in Troilus and Cressida, act 2, sc. 2, l. 163-7. Referring to Paris and Troilus in the debate about whether to keep Helen; "glozed" = commented. Aristotle lived long after the Trojan war took place.
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  • ''O, he is as tedious
    As a tired horse, a railing wife,
    Worse than a smoky house.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hotspur, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 3, sc. 1, l. 157-9. Meaning Glendower.
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  • ''On her left breast
    A mole cinque-spotted, like the crimson drops
    I' th' bottom of a cowslip.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Jachimo, in Cymbeline, act 2, sc. 2, l. 37-9. Looking at Imogen asleep; cinque-spotted means having five spots, an accurate description of the cowslip flower.
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  • ''Things that love night
    Love not such nights as these.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Kent, in King Lear, act 3, sc. 2, l. 42-3. Referring to the wild storm in which Lear wanders.
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  • ''My comfort is that old age, that ill layer-up of beauty, can
    do no more spoil upon my face.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry V, act 5, sc. 2, l. 229-31. Apologizing for his plainness.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

O Mistress Mine, Where Are You Roaming? (Twelfth Night, Act Ii, Scene Iii)

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,
Journey's end in lovers' meeting-
Every wise man's son doth know.

What is love? 'tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What's to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty,-
Then come kiss me, Sweet and twenty,
Youth's a stuff will not endure.

Read the full of O Mistress Mine, Where Are You Roaming? (Twelfth Night, Act Ii, Scene Iii)

Sonnet Lxvi

Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And guilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,