William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''I durst not laugh for fear of opening my lips and receiving the bad air.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Casca, in Julius Caesar, act 1, sc. 2.
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  • ''The cripple tardy-gaited night,
    Who like a foul and ugly witch doth limp
    So tediously away.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Chorus, in Henry V, act 4, prologue, l. 20-2. The night seems foul and tedious to the English army knowing they must fight in the morning.
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  • ''I laughed him out of patience; and that night
    I laughed him into patience.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 2, sc. 5, l. 19-20. Exemplifying her "infinite variety" (act 2, sc. 2, l. 235).
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  • ''Do I entice you? Do I speak you fair?
    Or rather do I not in plainest truth
    Tell you I do not nor I cannot love you?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Demetrius, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 2, sc. 1, l. 199-201. Rejecting Helena's love.
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  • ''O, what may man within him hide,
    Though angel on the outward side!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Duke, in Measure for Measure, act 3, sc. 2, l. 271-2. Alluding the hypocrisy of Angelo, and also to the coin that had the figure of an angel on its face.
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  • ''O, I do not like that paying back, 'tis a double labor.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 3, sc. 3, l. 179-80. Hal has returned the money they stole.
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  • ''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.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Feste, in Twelfth Night, act 2, sc. 3, l. 47-52. This stanza touches on the brevity of life and traditional "ubi sunt" ("where are they?") theme (as in "where have all the flowers gone?").
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  • ''So wise so young, they say, do never live long.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gloucester (later Richard III), in Richard III, act 3, sc. 1. Speaking of Prince Edward; Edward is dead by act 4, sc. 3.
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  • ''So excellent a king that was to this
    Hyperion to a satyr, so loving to my mother
    That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
    Visit her face too roughly.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 2, l. 140-2. Remembering his father as a sun-god compared to Claudius, the satyr, half-goat, half-man; "beteem" means permit.
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  • ''She is a theme of honor and renown,
    A spur to valiant and magnanimous deeds,
    Whose present courage may beat down our foes,
    And fame in time to come canonize us.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hector, in Troilus and Cressida, act 2, sc. 2, l. 199-202. Hector's reasons for keeping Helen in Troy.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

A Fairy Song

Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire!
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours;
In those freckles live their savours;
I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.

Read the full of A Fairy Song

Sonnet Lxxvii

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

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