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.
''The end crowns all;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.
And that old common arbitrator, Time,
Will one day end it.''
''O, the blood more stirsWilliam 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.
To rouse a lion than to start a hare!''
''Jaques. Rosalind is your love's name?William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Jaques and Orlando, in As You Like It, act 3, sc. 2, l. 263-67.
Orlando. Yes, just.
Jaques. I do not like her name.
Orlando. There was no thought of pleasing you when she
''What wouldst thou do, old man?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).
Think'st thou that duty shall have dread to speak
When power to flattery bows?''
''Every subject's duty is the King's, but every subject's soulWilliam 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.
is his own.''
''Not all the water in the rough rude seaWilliam 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.
Can wash the balm off from an anointed king;
The breath of worldly men cannot depose
The deputy elected by the Lord.''
''Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,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.
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?''
''Alas, poor women, make us but believeWilliam 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.
(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.''
''Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men,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.
As hounds and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels, curs,
Shoughs, water-rugs, and demi-wolves, are clept
All by the name of dogs.''
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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.
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?