William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Sad hours seem long.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Romeo, in Romeo and Juliet, act 1, sc. 1, l. 161. The lovelorn Romeo finds time hangs on his hands.
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  • ''Look, he's winding up the watch of his wit; by and by it will strike.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Sebastian, in The Tempest, act 2, sc. 1, l. 12-3. Scornfully referring to Gonzalo, who is trying to comfort Alonso; "wit" means intelligence or thought.
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  • ''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.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Sonnet 18 (1609).
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  • ''when a woman woos, what woman's son
    Will sourly leave her till she have prevailed?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Those petty wrongs that liberty commits (l. 7-8). InvP. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''Take but degree away, untune that string,
    And hark what discord follows!
    ...
    Force should be right, or, rather, right and wrong—
    Between whose endless jar justice resides—
    Should lose their names, and so should justice too.
    Then everything includes itself in power,
    Power into will, will into appetite;
    And appetite, an universal wolf,
    So doubly seconded with will and power,
    Must make perforce an universal prey,
    And last eat up himself.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Ulysses, in Troilus and Cressida, act 1, sc. 3, l. 109-10, 116-24. Ulysses' vision of anarchy if social ranks and hierarchy are done away with.
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  • ''Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie,
    Which we ascribe to heaven. The fated sky
    Gives us free scope, only doth backward pull
    Our slow designs when we ourselves are dull.''
    William 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.
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  • ''His life was gentle, and the elements
    So mixed in him that nature might stand up
    And say to all the world "This was a man."''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Antony, in Julius Caesar, act 5, sc. 5, l. 72-4 (1623). Referring to Brutus. Antony bases the end of his panegyric on the Platonic notion that the four natural elements (earth, air, fire and water) are represented in man.
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  • ''What are these,
    So withered, and so wild in their attire,
    That look not like th' inhabitants o'th' earth,
    And yet are on't?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Banquo, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 3. Referring to the three witches.
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  • ''Study is like the heaven's glorious sun,
    That will not be deep searched with saucy looks;
    Small have continual plodders ever won,
    Save base authority from others' books.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Berowne, in Love's Labor's Lost, act 1, sc. 1, l. 84-7. "Small" = little; "base" = second-hand, hackneyed.
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  • ''Be angry when you will, it shall have scope.
    Do what you will, dishonor shall be humor.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Brutus, in Julius Caesar, act 4, sc. 3, l. 108-9. To Cassius, patching their quarrel by giving his anger free rein ("scope"), and humoring his questionable conduct.
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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 Cviii

What's in the brain that ink may character
Which hath not figured to thee my true spirit?
What's new to speak, what new to register,
That may express my love or thy dear merit?
Nothing, sweet boy; but yet, like prayers divine,
I must, each day say o'er the very same,
Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine,
Even as when first I hallow'd thy fair name.
So that eternal love in love's fresh case

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