William Shakespeare Quotes
''Nought's had, all's spent,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 3, sc. 2, l. 4-5. "Content" means contentment.
Where our desire is got without content.''
''So we'll live,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lear, in King Lear, act 5, sc. 3, l. 11-7. Imagining being imprisoned with his daughter Cordelia; "gilded butterflies" probably refers to extravagantly dressed courtiers.
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
Talk of court news; and we'll talk with them too
Who loses and who wins; who's in, who's out
And take upon 's the mystery of things,
As if we were God's spies.''
''The course of true love never did run smooth.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lysander, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 1, sc. 1, l. 134 (1600).
''Let us not be dainty of leave-taking,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Malcolm, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 3, l. 144-5. "Dainty of" means particular about.
But shift away.''
''My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun (l. 1-14). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks,
And in some perfumes there is more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go:
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
And yet by heaven I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.''
''That's a valiant flea that dare eat his breakfast on the lipWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Orleans, in Henry V, act 3, sc. 7, l. 145-6.
of a lion.''
''I have told you enough of this. For my part I'll not meddle nor make no farther.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Pandarus, in Troilus and Cressida, act 1, sc. 1, l. 13-14. "Meddle nor make" was a proverbial phrase, "make" meaning "have anything to do with it"; he is refusing to help Troilus.
''We are oft to blame in this,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Polonius, in Hamlet, act 3, sc. 1, l. 45-8. Using Ophelia, made to hold a prayer book, to spy on Hamlet; for the moment he realizes what he is doing is wrong.
'Tis too much proved, that with devotion's visage
And pious action we do sugar o'er
The devil himself.''
''Well, thus we play the fools with the time, and the spirits ofWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince Hal, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 2, sc. 2, l. 142-3. Recognizing that in fooling with his tavern companions he is wasting time.
the wise sit in the clouds and mock us.''
''They that stand high have many blasts to shake them,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Queen Margaret, in Richard III, act 1, sc. 3, l. 258-9. As she, the widow of Henry VI, has become an object of scorn in the court of Edward IV.
And if they fall, they dash themselves to pieces.''
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A Lover's Complaint
FROM off a hill whose concave womb reworded
A plaintful story from a sistering vale,
My spirits to attend this double voice accorded,
And down I laid to list the sad-tuned tale;
Ere long espied a fickle maid full pale,
Tearing of papers, breaking rings a-twain,
Storming her world with sorrow's wind and rain.
Upon her head a platted hive of straw,
Which fortified her visage from the sun,
Whereon the thought might think sometime it saw
The carcass of beauty spent and done:
Time had not scythed all ...
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?