William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''From forth the fatal loins of these two foes,
    A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Chorus, in Romeo and Juliet, prologue, l. 5-6. The foes are the clans of the Capulets and Montagues in Verona.
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  • ''His delights
    Were dolphin-like, they showed his back above
    The element they lived in.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 5, sc. 2, l. 88-90. Her vision of Antony, after his death.
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  • ''My mother had a maid called Barbary;
    She was in love, and he she loved proved mad,
    And did forsake her. She had a song of "Willow,"
    An old thing 'twas, but it expressed her fortune,
    And she died singing it. That song tonight
    Will not go from my mind.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Desdemona, in Othello, act 4, sc. 3, l. 26-31. The willow was the proverbial badge of a forsaken lover.
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  • ''Yet looks he like a king. Behold, his eye,
    As bright as is the eagle's, lightens forth
    Controlling majesty.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Duke of York, in Richard II, act 3, sc. 3, l. 68-70. In defeat Richard still has a good appearance; "lightens forth" means flashes like lightning.
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  • ''Let us be Diana's foresters, gentlemen of the shade, minions of the moon.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 1, sc. 2, l. 25-6. Falstaff prefers stealing by night, working by day; Diana was goddess of the moon.
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  • ''These growing feathers plucked from Caesar's wing
    Will make him fly an ordinary pitch,
    Who else would soar above the view of men,
    And keep us all in servile fearfulness.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Flavius, in Julius Caesar, act 1, sc. 1, l. 72-5. Caesar is imaged as a hawk that could be prevented from flying high if its feathers were plucked.
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  • ''Thus sometimes hath the brightest day a cloud,
    And after summer evermore succeeds
    Barren winter, with his wrathful nipping cold;
    So cares and joys abound, as seasons fleet.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gloucester, in Henry VI, Part 2, act 2, sc. 4, l. 1-4. He has lost his office of Protector of the King, and his wife has been banished.
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  • ''The time is out of joint. O cursèd spite
    That ever I was born to set it right!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 5, l. 189-90 (1604).
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  • ''All's well that ends well! still the fine's the crown;
    What e'er the course, the end is the renown.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Helena, in All's Well That Ends Well, act 4, sc. 4, l. 35-6. The play's proverbial title is repeated in act 5, sc. 4, l. 35; "the end crowns all" ("fine" means end, from the Latin) is also proverbial.
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  • ''Come, Kate, thou art perfect in lying down.
    Come, quick, quick, that I may lay my head in thy lap.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hotspur, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 3, sc. 1, l. 226-7. Teasing his wife, as Mortimer's wife prepares to sing.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

O Mistress Mine, Where Are You Roaming? (Twelfth Night, Act Ii, Scene Iii)

O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O stay and hear! your true-love's coming
That can sing both high and low;
Trip no further, pretty sweeting,
Journey's end in lovers' meeting-
Every wise man's son doth know.

What is love? 'tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What's to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty,-
Then come kiss me, Sweet and twenty,
Youth's a stuff will not endure.

Read the full of O Mistress Mine, Where Are You Roaming? (Twelfth Night, Act Ii, Scene Iii)

Sonnet Lxvi

Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And guilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,

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