William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''I do believe thee;
    I saw his heart in's face.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Polixenes, in The Winter's Tale, act 1, sc. 2, l. 446-7. Leontes has shown in his expression his hatred of Polixenes.
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  • ''Fare thee well, great heart!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince Hal, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 5, sc. 4, l. 87. His farewell to the dead Hotspur.
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  • ''Alas, I am a woman friendless, hopeless!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Queen Katherine, in Henry VIII, act 3, sc. 1, l. 80.
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  • ''Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs,
    Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes,
    Being vexed, a sea nourished with lovers' tears.
    What is it else? A madness most discreet,
    A choking gall and a preserving sweet.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Romeo, in Romeo and Juliet, act 1, sc. 1. A fanciful definition of love: if the "fume" or smoke of sighs is removed, a lover's eyes sparkle; if it is stirred up, tears are provoked.
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  • ''A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a Daniel!
    O wise young judge, how I do honor thee!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Shylock, in The Merchant of Venice, act 4, sc. 1, l. 223-4. on Portia, who argues the law must take its course. In the Apocrypha, Daniel rescues Susannah from her accusers, as Portia will rescue Antonio from Shylock's cruelty.
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  • ''Prithee do not turn me about, my stomach is not constant.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Stephano, in The Tempest, act 2, sc. 2, l. 114-5. The butler is drunk.
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  • ''Titania. What, wilt thou hear some music, my sweet love?
    Bottom. I have a reasonable good ear in music. Let's have the tongs and the bones.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Titania and Bottom, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 4, sc. 1, l. 27-9. Bottom's idea of music is to play on metal tongs and bone clappers.
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  • ''While I play the good husband at home, my son and his servant spend all at the university.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Vincentio, in The Taming of the Shrew, act 5, sc. 1, l. 68-70. Mistakenly thinking his son Lucentio is a spendthrift; "good husband" = careful manager.
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  • ''You spotted snakes with double tongue,
    Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen.
    Newts and blindworms, do no wrong,
    Come not near our Fairy Queen.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. 1st Fairy, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 2, sc. 2, l. 9-14. Singing a charm to keep creatures thought to be poisonous away from the sleeping Titania; "blindworms" are harmless snakes but sometimes confused with adders.
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  • ''Thieves for their robbery have authority
    When judges steal themselves.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Angelo, in Measure for Measure, act 2, sc. 2, l. 175-6.
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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 Cviii

What's in the brain that ink may character
Which hath not figured to thee my true spirit?
What's new to speak, what new to register,
That may express my love or thy dear merit?
Nothing, sweet boy; but yet, like prayers divine,
I must, each day say o'er the very same,
Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine,
Even as when first I hallow'd thy fair name.
So that eternal love in love's fresh case