William Shakespeare Quotes
''The man that hath no music in himself,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lorenzo, in The Merchant of Venice, act 5, sc. 1. Responding to Jessica's remark, "I am never merry when I hear sweet music". "Spoils" means acts of plunder; Erebus was a place of darkness linked with Hades in classical mythology.
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.''
''If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere wellWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 7, l. 1-2. "If it were done when 'tis done" means if the deed were at an end, completely finished, at the moment it is done; Macbeth thinks that if he could avoid ("trammel up" means catch in a net) the consequences of murder with the death ("surcease") of Duncan, he would take a chance on the life to come (on earth, and in heaven or hell).
It were done quickly. If th' assassination
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch
With his surcease successthat but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all!here,
But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
We'd jump the life to come.''
''I love a ballad in print alife, for then we are sure they are true.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Mopsa, in The Winter's Tale, act 4, sc. 4, l. 260-1. "Alife" means on my life, dearly; the peasant girl thinks anything in print must be true.
''I cannot choose but weep to think they would lay him i'th'William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Ophelia, in Hamlet, act 4, sc. 5, l. 69-70. Mad and grieving after her father's death.
''O, the world hath not a sweeter creature! She might lie by an emperor's side and command him tasks.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Othello, in Othello, act 4, sc. 1, l. 183-5. Praising Desdemona.
''Base is the slave that pays.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Pistol, in Henry V, act 2, sc. 1, l. 96. Refusing to pay a gaming debt.
''Ill-weaved ambition, how much art thou shrunk!William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince Hal, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 5, sc. 4, l. 88-92. On the death of Hotspur.
When that this body did contain a spirit,
A kingdom for it was too small a bound,
But now two paces of the vilest earth
Is room enough.''
''That bottled spider, that foul bunch-backed toad.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Queen, Elizabeth in Richard III, act 4, sc. 4, l. 81. Referring to Richard; spiders and toads were thought to be venomous.
''Eyes, look your last.William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Romeo, in Romeo and Juliet, act 5, sc. 3, l. 112-5. Kissing Juliet before drinking the apothecary's poison; "engrossing" means either taking all or preparing the contract or "bargain."
Arms, take your last embrace, and lips, O you
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
A dateless bargain to engrossing death.''
''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. 13-4 (1623). Referring to Gonzalo's attempts to cheer up Alonso.
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All The World's A Stage
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in ...
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