William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Famine is in thy cheeks,
    Need and oppression starveth in thy eyes,
    Contempt and beggary hangs upon thy back;
    The world is not thy friend, nor the world's law.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Romeo, in Romeo and Juliet, act 5, sc. 1, l. 69-72. Speaking to the poor apothecary whose poison he is seeking to buy; "starveth" means are shown by your look of starvation.
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  • ''What's to do?
    Shall we go see the relics of this town?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Sebastian, in Twelfth Night, act 3, sc. 3, l. 18-9. To Antonio, on arriving in Illyria; "relics" means antiquities.
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  • ''Thou art thy mother's glass, and she in thee
    Calls back the lovely April of her prime.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Sonnet 3.
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  • '''Tis not enough to help the feeble up,
    But to support him after.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Timon, in Timon of Athens, act 1, sc. 1, l. 107-8. On Ventidius, imprisoned for debt.
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  • ''Time is like a fashionable host,
    That slightly shakes his parting guest by the hand,
    And with his arms outstretched, as he would fly,
    Grasps in the comer: the welcome ever smiles,
    And farewell goes out sighing.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Ulysses, in Troilus and Cressida, act 3, sc. 3, l. 165-9. Telling Achilles that his past achievements are soon forgotten.
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  • ''The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
    Are of imagination all compact.
    One sees more devils than vast hell can hold;
    That is the madman. The lover, all as frantic,
    Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt.
    The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
    Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
    And as imagination bodies forth
    The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
    Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
    A local habitation and a name.
    Such tricks hath strong imagination
    That, if it would but apprehend some joy,
    It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
    Or in the night, imagining some fear,
    How easy is a bush supposed a bear!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. A Midsummer Night's Dream (V, i). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''Thou art the ruins of the noblest man
    That ever lived in the tide of times.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Antony, in Julius Caesar, act 3, sc. 1, l. 256-7. Mourning Caesar; "tide of times" means course of history.
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  • ''Here choose I. Joy be the consequence!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Bassanio, in The Merchant of Venice, act 3, sc. 2, l. 107. Choosing the leaden casket to win Portia.
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  • ''What, keep a week away? Seven days and nights,
    Eightscore-eight hours, and lovers' absent hours
    More tedious than the dial eightscore times!
    O weary reckoning!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Bianca, in Othello, act 3, sc. 4, l. 173-6. On Cassio's neglect of her.
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  • ''Give me your hands all over, one by one.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Brutus, in Julius Caesar, act 2, sc. 1, l. 112.
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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 Ci

O truant Muse, what shall be thy amends
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dyed?
Both truth and beauty on my love depends;
So dost thou too, and therein dignified.
Make answer, Muse: wilt thou not haply say
'Truth needs no colour, with his colour fix'd;
Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay;
But best is best, if never intermix'd?'
Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb?

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