William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Greatness knows itself.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hotspur, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 4, sc. 3, l. 74. Implying that great men take power for granted.
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  • ''The flame o' th' taper
    Bows toward her, and would under-peep her lids,
    To see th' enclosed lights, now canopied
    Under these windows, white and azure laced
    With blue of heaven's own tinct.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Jachimo, in Cymbeline, act 2, sc. 2, l. 19-23. Looking at Imogen asleep.
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  • ''Kill thy physician, and the fee bestow
    Upon the foul disease.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Kent, in King Lear, act 1, sc. 1, l. 163-4. Kent himself is the "physician" trying to cure Lear of madness.
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  • ''In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry V, act 3, sc. 1, l. 3-4.
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  • ''Pride must have a fall.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Richard, in Richard II, act 5, sc. 5, l. 88. Proverbial.
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  • ''Mend when thou canst, be better at thy leisure.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lear, in King Lear, act 2, sc. 4, l. 229. Speaking to his daughter Goneril; "mend" means improve.
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  • ''Who comes so fast in silence of the night?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lorenzo, in The Merchant of Venice, act 5, sc. 1, l. 25. Hearing the sound of a messenger.
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  • ''I have lived long enough: my way of life
    Is fallen into the sere, the yellow leaf;
    And that which should accompany old age,
    As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends,
    I must not look to have.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 5, sc. 3, l. 22-6. "Sere" means dry and withered; "As honor" means such as honor.
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  • ''Advantage is a better soldier than rashness.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Montjoy, in Henry V, act 3, sc. 6, l. 120. Better to wait for a favorable opportunity than act rashly in war; so the French king makes the best of losing Harfleur to the English.
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  • ''How should I your true-love know
    From another one?
    By his cockle hat and staff,
    And his sandal shoon.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Ophelia, in Hamlet, act 4, sc. 5, l. 23-6. Singing old songs in her madness after her father's death; "cockle hat" means hat bearing a cockle-shell, the sign, with the sandals, of a pilgrim; "shoon" means shoes.
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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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