William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Nothing almost sees miracles
    But misery.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Kent, in King Lear, act 2, sc. 2, l. 165-6. Those in misery are almost the only people who see miracles (when anything happens to bring relief).
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  • ''Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,
    Or close the wall up with our English dead.
    In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility,
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger.
    Stiffen the sinews, conjure up the blood,
    Disguise fair nature with hard-favoured rage.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry V, act 3, sc. 1, l. 1-8 (1600). Henry's address to his troops at the siege of Harfleur.
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  • ''He is come to open
    The purple testament of bleeding war.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Richard, in Richard II, act 3, sc. 3, l. 93-4. On Henry Bolingbroke; blood was often described as purple.
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  • ''Where the greater malady is fixed,
    The lesser is scarce felt.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lear, in King Lear, act 3, sc. 4, l. 8-9.
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  • ''Fair thoughts and happy hours attend on you!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lorenzo, in The Merchant of Venice, act 3, sc. 4, l. 41. Saying farewell to Portia as she sets off for Venice.
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  • ''Withered murder,
    Alarumed by his sentinel, the wolf,
    Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace,
    With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design
    Moves like a ghost.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 1, l. 52-6. The murderer is imagined as roused to action by the howling of the wolf, and moving like Tarquin, who raped Lucretia, the wife of Collatinus, in ancient Rome.
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  • ''I understand thy kisses, and thou mine,
    And that's a feeling disputation.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Mortimer, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 3, sc. 1, l. 202-3. An Englishman speaking to his Welsh wife; they do not speak each other's languages; "feeling disputation" means exchange of feelings.
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  • ''O what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Ophelia, in Hamlet, act 3, sc. 1.
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  • ''Be sure of it. Give me the ocular proof.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Othello, in Othello, act 3, sc. 3, l. 360. To Iago, demanding to see Desdemona and Cassio making love.
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  • ''Why then, the world's mine oyster,
    Which I with sword will open.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Pistol, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, act 2, sc. 2, l. 3-4. On failing to persuade Falstaff to lend him money; "the world's my oyster" was proverbial, meaning I'll find wealth somehow.
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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 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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