William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''It is my birthday,
    I had thought t' have held it poor; but since my lord
    Is Antony again, I will be Cleopatra.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 3, sc. 13, l. 184-6. After her reconciliation with Antony.
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  • ''To her, my lord,
    Was I betrothed ere I saw Hermia;
    But like a sickness did I loathe this food.
    But, as in health come to my natural taste,
    Now I do wish it, love it, long for it,
    And will for evermore be true to it.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Demetrius, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 4, sc. 1, l. 171-6. Professing his eternal loyalty to Helena.
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  • ''Thy best of rest is sleep,
    And that thou oft provok'st, yet grossly fear'st
    Thy death, which is no more.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Duke, in Measure for Measure, act 3, sc. 1, l. 17-9. Disguised as a Friar, he is preparing Claudio to face death.
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  • ''Falstaff. I am old, I am old.
    Doll Tearsheet. I love thee better than I love e'er a scurvy
    young boy of them all.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff and Doll Tearsheet, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 2, sc. 4, l. 271-3. Scurvy means contemptible; a term of abuse.
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  • ''Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Feste, in Twelfth Night, act 1, sc. 5, l. 18 (1623).
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  • ''There will be a world of water shed
    Upon the parting of your wives and you.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Glendower, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 3, sc. 1, l. 93-4. He is to bring the rebels' wives to take leave before the wars.
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  • ''For who would bare the whips and scorns of time,
    Th'oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
    The pangs of disprized love, the law's delay,
    The insolence of office, and the spurns
    That patient merit of th'unworthy takes,
    When he himself might his quietus make
    With a bare bodkin?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 3, sc. 1, l. 72-78 (1604). part of Hamlet's meditative soliloquy on the question of "To be, or not to be."
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  • ''Life every man holds dear, but the dear man
    Holds honor far more precious-dear than life.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hector, in Troilus and Cressida, act 5, sc. 3, l. 25-8. Refusing to be dissuaded from fighting by pressure from his wife Andromache and Cassandra; "dear man" = man of worth, noble man.
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  • ''I can teach thee, coz, to shame the devil
    By telling truth: tell truth and shame the devil.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hotspur, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 3, sc. 1, l. 57-8. To Glendower ("coz" means cousin), who has been claiming supernatural powers; "tell truth and shame the devil" was proverbial (as the devil was the father of lies).
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  • ''Adam was a gardener.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Jack Cade, in Henry VI, Part 2, act 4, sc. 2, l. 134. A peasant claiming all men are descended from a working man, though Adam did not have to work in the Garden of Eden.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

A Lover's Complaint

FROM off a hill whose concave womb reworded
A plaintful story from a sistering vale,
My spirits to attend this double voice accorded,
And down I laid to list the sad-tuned tale;
Ere long espied a fickle maid full pale,
Tearing of papers, breaking rings a-twain,
Storming her world with sorrow's wind and rain.

Upon her head a platted hive of straw,
Which fortified her visage from the sun,
Whereon the thought might think sometime it saw
The carcass of beauty spent and done:
Time had not scythed all ...

Read the full of A Lover's Complaint

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,

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