William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Thoughts tending to content flatter themselves
    That they are not the first of fortune's slaves,
    Nor shall not be the last, like silly beggars
    Who, sitting in the stocks, refuge their shame
    That many have and others must sit there,
    And in this thought they find a kind of ease.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Richard, in Richard II, act 5, sc. 5, l. 23-8. Meditating in prison; "silly" means simple; "refuge" means rationalize their humiliation.
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  • ''Down from the waist they are centaurs,
    Though women all above;
    But to the girdle do the gods inherit,
    Beneath is all the fiends': there's hell, there's darkness,
    There is the sulphurous pit, burning, scalding,
    Stench, consumption.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lear, in King Lear, act 4, sc. 6, l. 124-9. The treatment of him by his daughters provokes this outburst of misogyny; centaurs were legendary creatures, half-human, half-horses, and notorious for lustfulness.
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  • ''Apparel vice like virtue's harbinger;
    Bear a fair presence, though your heart be tainted;
    Teach sin the carriage of a holy saint;
    Be secret-false.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Luciana, in The Comedy of Errors, act 3, sc. 2, l. 12-5. Her advice is wasted on the twin brother of her sister's husband.
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  • ''Now o'er the one half-world
    Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse
    The curtained sleep.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 1, l. 49-51. "Curtained" suggests both bed curtains and the unconsciousness of sleep that shuts off the control exerted by the conscious mind.
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  • ''Then thus I turn me from my country's light,
    To dwell in solemn shades of endless night.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Mowbray, in Richard II, act 1, sc. 3, l. 176-7. Seeing his exile as a kind of death.
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  • ''He is dead and gone, lady,
    He is dead and gone,
    At his head a grass-green turf,
    At his heels a stone.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Ophelia, in Hamlet, act 4, sc. 5, l. 29-32. Singing in her madness, after her father's death.
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  • ''I greet thy love,
    Not with vain thanks, but with acceptance bounteous.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Othello, in Othello, act 3, sc. 3, l. 469-70. Accepting Iago's offer to do anything, even murder, for him.
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  • ''Is it not strange that desire should so many years outlive
    performance?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Poins, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 2, sc. 4, l. 260-1. Commenting on old Falstaff with Doll Tearsheet sitting on his lap.
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  • ''I do not think a braver gentleman,
    More active-valiant or more valiant-young,
    More daring, or more bold, is now alive
    To grace this latter age with noble deeds.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince Hal, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 5, sc. 1, l. 89-92. Praising Hotspur.
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  • ''God, the best maker of all marriages,
    Combine your hearts in one.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Queen Isabel, in Henry V, act 5, sc. 2, l. 359-60. On the betrothal of Henry of England and Katherine of France.
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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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