William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''If the quick fire of youth light not your mind,
    You are no maiden, but a monument.
    When you are dead, you should be such a one
    As you are now; for you are cold and stern.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Bertram, in All's Well That Ends Well, act 4, sc. 2, l. 5-9. Bertram, married to Helena, attempts to seduce the chast e Diana.
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  • ''Brutus had rather be a villager
    Than to repute himself a son of Rome
    Under these hard conditions as this time
    Is like to lay upon us.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Brutus, in Julius Caesar, act 1, sc. 2, l. 172-5.
  • ''If we shall stand still
    In fear our motion will be mocked or carped at,
    We should take root here where we sit, or sit
    State-statues only.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cardinal Wolsey, in Henry VIII, act 1, sc. 2, l. 85-8. On hearing of complaints made about his use of power; "motion" = proposals, actions.
  • ''Can this cockpit hold
    The vasty fields of France? Or may we cram
    Within this wooden O the very casques
    That did affright the air at Agincourt?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Chorus, in Henry V, prologue, l. 11-4. The "wooden O" refers to multi-sided theaters like the Globe, where Shakespeare's plays were staged; "casques" means helmets.
  • ''Sir, you and I must part, but that's not it;
    Sir, you and I have loved, but there's not it;''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 1, sc. 3, l. 87-8. Movingly suggesting what cannot be expressed.
  • ''All the faith, the virtue of my heart,
    The object and the pleasure of mine eye,
    Is only Helena.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Demetrius, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 4, sc. 1, l. 169-71.
  • ''Lord Angelo is precise,
    Stands at a guard with envy, scarce confesses
    That his blood flows, or that his appetite
    Is more to bread than stone. Hence shall we see
    If power change purpose, what our seemers be.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Duke, in Measure for Measure, act 1, sc. 3, l. 50-4. He knows Angelo as puritanical ("precise"), and anxious about his reputation ("at a guard with envy").
  • ''Falstaff. What wind blew you hither, Pistol?
    Pistol. Not the ill wind which blows no man to good.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff and Pistol, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 5, sc. 3, l. 85-6. Pistol brings news that Prince Henry is now King, bending the proverb, "it's an ill wind that blows no man good."
  • ''Not a flower, not a flower sweet
    On my black coffin let there be strewn.
    Not a friend, not a friend greet
    My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown.
    A thousand thousand sighs to save,
    Lay me, O, where
    Sad true lover never find my grave,
    To weep there.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Feste, in Twelfth Night, act 2, sc. 4, l. 59-66. The image of sexual consummation as "dying" here passes into a reminder of death. Indeed.
  • ''Making such difference 'twixt wake and sleep
    As is the difference betwixt day and night
    The hour before the heavenly-harnessed team
    Begins his golden progress in the east.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Glendower, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 3, sc. 1, l. 216-9. Translating his daughter's words to her husband, who says she will sing him almost to sleep.

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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

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 ...

Read the full of All The World's A Stage

Sonnet Li

Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed:
From where thou art why should I haste me thence?
Till I return, of posting is no need.
O, what excuse will my poor beast then find,
When swift extremity can seem but slow?
Then should I spur, though mounted on the wind;
In winged speed no motion shall I know:
Then can no horse with my desire keep pace;

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