William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Speak the speech ... trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it ... I had as lief the town crier had spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus, but use all gently; for in the very torrent, tempest, and as I may say the whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 3, sc. 2. In the opening lines, instructing the player how to give the speech he has written.
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  • ''The end crowns all;
    And that old common arbitrator, Time,
    Will one day end it.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hector, in Troilus and Cressida, act 4, sc. 5, l. 224-6. Refusing to accept Ulysses' prophecy that Troy will fall.
  • ''O, the blood more stirs
    To rouse a lion than to start a hare!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hotspur, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 1, sc. 3, l. 97-8. Imagining himself as the lion; the hare was proverbially fearful.
  • ''Jaques. Rosalind is your love's name?
    Orlando. Yes, just.
    Jaques. I do not like her name.
    Orlando. There was no thought of pleasing you when she
    was christened.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Jaques and Orlando, in As You Like It, act 3, sc. 2, l. 263-67.
  • ''What wouldst thou do, old man?
    Think'st thou that duty shall have dread to speak
    When power to flattery bows?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Kent, in King Lear, act 1, sc. 1, l. 147-8. Reminding the King of his age ("fourscore and upwards" as we learn later).
  • ''Every subject's duty is the King's, but every subject's soul
    is his own.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry V, act 4, sc. 1, l. 176-7. The King, disguised, speaks with common soldiers.
  • ''Not all the water in the rough rude sea
    Can wash the balm off from an anointed king;
    The breath of worldly men cannot depose
    The deputy elected by the Lord.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Richard, in Richard II, act 3, sc. 2, l. 54-7. Alluding to the "divine right" of a King, consecrated with holy oil ("balm"), and God's deputy on earth.
  • ''Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,
    That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,
    How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
    Your looped and windowed raggedness, defend you
    From seasons such as these?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lear, in King Lear, act 3, sc. 4, l. 28-32. "Bide" means endure; "looped and windowed raggedness" means ragged clothes full of holes and tatters.
  • ''Alas, poor women, make us but believe
    (Being compact of credit) that you love us;
    Though others have the arm, show us the sleeve:
    We in your motion turn, and you may move us.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Luciana, in The Comedy of Errors, act 3, sc. 2, l. 21-4. Speaking to Antipholus of Syracuse; "compact of credit" means quick to believe; "motion" refers to the orbit of a heavenly sphere.
  • ''Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men,
    As hounds and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels, curs,
    Shoughs, water-rugs, and demi-wolves, are clept
    All by the name of dogs.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 3, sc. 1, l. 91-4. Speaking to the murderers he has hired; "shoughs" are rough mongrels, and "water-rugs" dogs used for fowling; "clept" means called.

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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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