William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''The beasts, the fishes, and the winged fowls
    Are their males' subjects and at their controls:
    Man, more divine, the master of all these,
    Lord of the wide world and wild watery seas,
    Indued with intellectual sense and souls,
    Of more pre-eminence than fish and fowls,
    Are masters to their females, and their lords:
    Then let your will attend on their accords.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Luciana, in The Comedy of Errors, act 2, sc. 1, l. 18-25. An Elizabethan view of marriage, rejected with spirit by Adriana, to whom it is addressed.
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  • ''What rhubarb, senna, or what purgative drug
    Would scour these English hence?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 5, sc. 3, l. 55-6. Wishing he could get rid of his enemies by purging.
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  • ''Now no way can I stray;
    Save back to England, all the world's my way.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Mowbray, in Richard II, act 1, sc. 3, l. 206-7. "Stray" means take a wrong turn.
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  • ''Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced,
    No hat upon his head, his stockings fouled,
    Ungartered, and down-gyved to his ankle,
    Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other,
    And with a look so piteous in purport
    As if he had been loosed out of hell
    To speak of horrors.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Ophelia, in Hamlet, act 2, sc. 1, l. 75-8. Describing to Polonius the distraught state of Hamlet, who appears like a ghost; "down-gyved" means fallen down like fetters.
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  • ''My story being done,
    She gave me for my pains a world of sighs;
    She swore, in faith 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange;
    'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Othello, in Othello, act 1, sc. 3, l. 158-61. On his courtship of Desdemona by telling her the story of his life.
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  • ''He makes a July's day short as December,
    And with his varying childness cures in me
    Thoughts that would thick my blood.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Polixenes, in The Winter's Tale, act 1, sc. 2, l. 169-71. On the pleasure his son gives him.
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  • ''These lies are like their father that begets them, gross
    as a mountain, open, palpable.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince Hal, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 2, sc. 4, l. 225-6. To Falstaff, who has hugely exaggerated his account of a fight with the disguised Prince and Poins; "gross" means huge, and hence obvious.
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  • ''So happy be the issue, brother England,
    Of this good day and of this gracious meeting.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Queen Isabel, in Henry V, act 5, sc. 2, l. 12-3. The French Queen hopes for a happy outcome ("issue") to the negotiations for peace.
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  • ''But that a joy past joy calls out on me,
    It were a grief, so brief to part with thee.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Romeo, in Romeo and Juliet, act 3, sc. 3, l. 173-4. On leaving Friar Lawrence to go to Juliet.
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  • ''He has the prettiest love-songs for maids, so without bawdry, which is strange.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Servant, in The Winter's Tale, act 4, sc. 4, l. 193-4. On Autolycus, who is peddling ballads.
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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 Ci

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?