William Shakespeare Quotes
''The beasts, the fishes, and the winged fowlsWilliam 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.
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.''
''What rhubarb, senna, or what purgative drugWilliam 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.
Would scour these English hence?''
''Now no way can I stray;William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Mowbray, in Richard II, act 1, sc. 3, l. 206-7. "Stray" means take a wrong turn.
Save back to England, all the world's my way.''
''Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced,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.
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.''
''My story being done,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.
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs;
She swore, in faith 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange;
'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful.''
''He makes a July's day short as December,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.
And with his varying childness cures in me
Thoughts that would thick my blood.''
''These lies are like their father that begets them, grossWilliam 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.
as a mountain, open, palpable.''
''So happy be the issue, brother England,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.
Of this good day and of this gracious meeting.''
''But that a joy past joy calls out on me,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.
It were a grief, so brief to part with thee.''
''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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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 ...
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?