William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''I hold you as a thing enskied, and sainted,
    By your renouncement an immortal spirit,
    And to be talked with in sincerity,
    As with a saint.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lucio, in Measure for Measure, act 1, sc. 4, l. 34-7. Addressing the novice Isabella at the gate of the nunnery; "enskied" means in heaven.
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  • ''But cruel are the times when we are traitors
    And do not know ourselves, when we hold rumor
    From what we fear, yet know not what we fear,
    But float upon a wild and violent sea
    Each way and move.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macduff, in Macbeth, act 4, sc. 2, l. 18-22. "When we hold rumor/ From what we fear" means when we are led by fear to believe rumors; "Each way and move" means this way and that, making no headway.
  • ''The purest treasure mortal times afford
    Is spotless reputation.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Mowbray, in Richard II, act 1, sc. 1, l. 177-8. On being accused of treason.
  • ''O good old man, how well in thee appears
    The constant service of the antique world,
    When service sweat for duty, not for meed!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Orlando, in As You Like It, act 2, sc. 3, l. 56-8. Imagining a golden age when doing the job was its own reward.
  • ''Ha? No more moving?
    Still as the grave.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Othello, in Othello, act 5, sc. 2, l. 94. "Still (or silent) as the grave (or death)" was proverbial.
  • ''We marry
    A gentler scion to the wildest stock,
    And make conceive a bark of baser kind
    By bud of nobler race. This is an art
    Which does mend nature—change it rather; but
    The art itself is nature.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Polixenes, in The Winter's Tale, act 4, sc. 4, l. 92-7. Instructing Perdita in the art of grafting, and, paradoxically, arguing that art is nature.
  • ''For my part, if a lie may do thee grace,
    I'll gild it with the happiest terms I have.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince Hal, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 5, sc. 4, l. 157-8. Falstaff claims to have killed Hotspur, and Hal does not expose the lie; "do thee grace" means bring you credit.
  • ''After my death I wish no other herald,
    No other speaker of my living actions
    To keep mine honor from corruption,
    But such an honest chronicler as Griffith.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Queen Katherine, in Henry VIII, act 4, sc. 2, l. 69-72. Griffith has just spoken of the good qualities of Wolsey.
  • ''Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight,
    For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Romeo, in Romeo and Juliet, act 1, sc. 5, l. 52-3. On seeing Juliet, he dismisses his earlier passion for Rosaline.
  • ''O wise and upright judge!
    How much more elder art thou than thy looks!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Shylock, in The Merchant of Venice, act 4, sc. 1, l. 251. On Portia, who has led him to think he can have his pound of flesh.

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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

All The World's A Stage

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in ...

Read the full of All The World's A Stage

Sonnet Li

Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed:
From where thou art why should I haste me thence?
Till I return, of posting is no need.
O, what excuse will my poor beast then find,
When swift extremity can seem but slow?
Then should I spur, though mounted on the wind;
In winged speed no motion shall I know:
Then can no horse with my desire keep pace;

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