William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''It is the stars,
    The stars above us, govern our conditions.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Kent, in King Lear, act 4, sc. 3, l. 32-3. "Conditions" means natures, dispositions.
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  • '''Tis not the balm, the sceptre, and the ball,
    The sword, the mace, the crown imperial,
    The intertissued robe of gold and pearl,
    ...
    Not all these, laid in bed majestical,
    Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave
    Who with a body filled and vacant mind
    Gets him to rest, crammed with distressful bread.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry V, act 4, sc. 1, l. 260-2, 266-70. The poor laborer whose food is earned by hard toil (hence "distressful") sleeps easier than a king, for all his luxury.
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  • ''I'll read enough
    When I do see the very book indeed
    Where all my sins are writ, and that's myself.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Richard, in Richard II, act 4, sc. 1, l. 273-5. On being pressed to read a list of his crimes.
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  • '''Tis our fast intent
    To shake all cares and business from our age,
    Conferring them on younger strengths, while we
    Unburdened crawl toward death.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lear, in King Lear, act 1, sc. 1, l. 38-41.
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  • ''Love wrought these miracles.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lucentio, in The Taming of the Shrew, act 5, sc. 1, l. 124. Speaking of the devices by which he has deceived Bianca's father and married her.
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  • ''Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 3, sc. 2, l. 55.
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  • ''Thus do the hopes we have in him touch ground
    And dash themselves to pieces.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Mowbray, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 4, sc. 1, l. 17-8. On Northumberland's failure to support the rebels.
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  • ''Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
    Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,
    Whilst like a puffed and reckless libertine
    Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
    And recks not his own rede.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Ophelia, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 3, l. 47-51. To her brother, Laertes, who has been urging her not listen to Hamlet's advances; "ungracious" means lacking grace; "puffed" means bloated; "recks" means heeds; "rede" means advice.
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  • ''But there, where I have garnered up my heart,
    Where either I must live or bear no life;
    The fountain from the which my current runs
    Or else dries up: to be discarded thence,
    Or keep it as a cistern for foul toads
    To knot and gender in!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Othello, in Othello, act 4, sc. 2, l. 57-62. "Knot and gender" means copulate and breed; the foulness is all in Othello's imagination.
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  • ''Shall we be merry? As merry as crickets, my lad.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Poins, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 2, sc. 4, l. 89. Hal and his companions at the tavern in Eastcheap.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day? (Sonnet 18)

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe, or ...

Read the full of Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day? (Sonnet 18)

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?