William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Thou art come to answer
    A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch,
    Uncapable of pity, void and empty
    From any dram of mercy.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Duke, in The Merchant of Venice, act 4, sc. 1, l. 3-6. To Antonio, about Shylock; "answer" means defend yourself; "dram" means minute amount.
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  • ''Do thou amend thy face, and I'll amend my life.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 3, sc. 3, l. 24-5. To Bardolph, whose nose is inflamed with drinking.
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  • ''1st Guard. Is this well done?
    Charmian. It is well done, and fitting for a princess
    Descended of so many royal kings.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. First guard and Charmian, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 5, sc. 2, l. 325-7. Caesar's guards find Cleopatra dead.
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  • ''Gloucester. Is't not the King?
    Lear. Ay, every inch a king!
    When I do stare, see how the subject quakes!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gloucester and Lear, in King Lear, act 4, sc. 6, l. 107.
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  • ''Lay not that flattering unction to your soul,
    That not your trespass but my madness speaks;
    It will but skin and film the ulcerous place,
    Whilst rank corruption, mining all within,
    Infects unseen.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 3, sc. 4, l. 147-9. To Gertrude, who thinks he is mad; "flattering unction" means soothing ointment of flattery.
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  • ''But now he's gone, and my idolatrous fancy
    Must sanctify his relics.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Helena, in All's Well That Ends Well, act 1, sc. 1, l. 97-8. Love ("fancy") turns into quasi-religious worship.
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  • ''I had rather hear a brazen canstick turned,
    Or a dry wheel grate on the axle-tree,
    And that would set my teeth nothing on edge,
    Nothing so much as mincing poetry.
    'Tis like the forced gait of a shuffling nag.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hotspur, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 3, sc. 1, l. 129-33. Hotspur, speaking in verse, dismisses poetry as affected or effeminate ("mincing"); "canstick" means candlestick; "turned" means on a lathe.
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  • ''Jaques. Let's meet as little as we can.
    Orlando. I do desire we may be better strangers.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Jaques and Orlando, in As You Like It, act 3, sc. 2, l. 257-8.
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  • ''Fortune, good night; smile once more, turn thy wheel.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Kent, in King Lear, act 2, sc. 2, l. 173. Recalling the proverbs, "Fortune's wheel is ever turning," and "Fortune can both smile and frown."
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  • ''Will you vouchsafe to teach a soldier terms
    Such as will enter at a lady's ear
    And plead his love-suit to her gentle heart?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry V, act 5, sc. 2, l. 99-101. Having defeated the French, Henry tries to make love to Katherine, daughter of the French king.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

Fear No More

Fear no more the heat o' the sun;
Nor the furious winter's rages,
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages;
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney sweepers come to dust.

Fear no more the frown of the great,
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke:
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning-flash,
Nor the all-dread thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy ...

Read the full of Fear No More

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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