William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep,
    My dreams presage some joyful news at hand.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Romeo, in Romeo and Juliet, act 5, sc. 1, l. 1-2. In exile, Romeo hopes for good news from Verona.
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  • ''Women will love her, that she is a woman
    More worth than any man; men, that she is
    The rarest of all women.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Servant, in The Winter's Tale, act 5, sc. 1, l. 110-2. On the rare qualities of Perdita.
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  • ''How like a winter hath my absence been
    From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
    What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen,
    What old December's bareness everywhere!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Sonnet 97 (1609).
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  • ''Most smiling, smooth, detested parasites,
    Courteous destroyers, affable wolves, meek bears,
    You fools of fortune, trencher-friends, time's flies.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Timon, in Timon of Athens, act 3, sc. 6, l. 94-6. Cursing his former friends; "fools of fortune" = playthings at the mercy of fortune; "flies" come in summer and disappear in winter.
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  • ''The pleasant'st angling is to see the fish
    Cut with her golden oars the silver stream,
    And greedily devour the treacherous bait.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Ursula, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 3, sc. 1, l. 26-8. "Oars" means fins.
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  • ''Under the greenwood tree
    Who loves to lie with me,
    And turn his merry note
    Unto the sweet bird's throat,
    Come hither, come hither, come hither!
    Here shall he see
    No enemy
    But winter and rough weather.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Amiens, in As You Like It, act 2, sc. 5, l. 1-8. This picture of ideal pastoral life nevertheless includes winter; "turn" means adapt or attune.
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  • ''All pity choked with custom of fell deeds.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Antony, in Julius Caesar, act 3, sc. 1, l. 269. In the wake of Caesar's death, cruel ("fell") deeds will become so familiar ("choked with custom") that no one will feel pity.
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  • ''In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt
    But, being seasoned with a gracious voice,
    Obscures the show of evil?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Bassanio, in The Merchant of Venice, act 3, sc. 2, l. 75-7.
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  • ''Taffeta phrases, silken phrases precise,
    Three-piled hyperbole, spruce affectation,
    Figures pedantical—these summer flies
    Have blown me full of maggot ostentation.
    I do forswear them.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Biron, in Love's Labour's Lost, act 5, sc. 2, l. 407-11 (1598). Biron vows to abandon his verbosity in his attempts to woo the ladies.
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  • ''What you have said
    I will consider; what you have to say
    I will with patience hear, and find a time
    Both meet to hear and answer such high things.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Brutus, in Julius Caesar, act 1, sc. 2, l. 167-70. "Meet" means fitting.
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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 Cviii

What's in the brain that ink may character
Which hath not figured to thee my true spirit?
What's new to speak, what new to register,
That may express my love or thy dear merit?
Nothing, sweet boy; but yet, like prayers divine,
I must, each day say o'er the very same,
Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine,
Even as when first I hallow'd thy fair name.
So that eternal love in love's fresh case

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