William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''O, the thorns we stand upon!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Florizel, in The Winter's Tale, act 4, sc. 4, l. 585. To Perdita; a proverbial expression for anxiety about the problems they face.
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  • ''Love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide: in cities, mutinies; in countries, discord; in palaces, treason; and the bond cracked 'twixt son and father.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gloucester, in King Lear, act 1, sc. 2, l. 106-9.
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  • ''What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god—the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 2, sc. 2, l. 304-8 (1604). "And yet to me," Hamlet adds, "what is this quintessence of dust?" The passage was set to music in the 1968 stage show Hair.
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  • ''And I have found Demetrius, like a jewel,
    Mine own, and not mine own.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Helena, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 4, sc. 1, l. 191-2. She has "found" him by chance or magic, and so, like a jewel found by accident, he may be claimed by someone else.
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  • ''Swear me, Kate, like a lady as thou art,
    A good mouth-filling oath.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hotspur to his wife (Lady Percy), in King Henry IV, pt. 1 act 3, sc. 1.
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  • ''O that I were a fool!
    I am ambitious for a motley coat.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Jaques, in As You Like It, act 2, sc. 7, l. 42-3. Motley, usually a parti-colored coat, was worn by the professional fool.
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  • ''He was but as the cuckoo is in June,
    Heard, not regarded.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 3, sc. 2, l. 75-6. To the Prince, about Richard II.
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  • ''Thou art alone
    (If thy rare qualities, sweet gentleness,
    Thy meekness saintlike, wife-like government,
    Obeying in commanding, and thy parts
    Sovereign and pious else, could speak thee out)
    The queen of earthly queens.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry VIII, act 2, sc. 4, l. 137-42. Praising Katherine, the wife he is divorcing; "government" = conduct; her "sovereign parts" are her excellent qualities.
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  • ''What must the King do now? Must he submit?
    The King shall do it. Must he be deposed?
    The King shall be contented. Must he lose
    The name of King? a' God's name let it go.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Richard, in Richard II, act 3, sc. 3, l. 143-6. Anticipating the loss of his throne.
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  • ''When the mind's free,
    The body's delicate; this tempest in my mind
    Doth from my senses take all feeling else,
    Save what beats there—filial ingratitude!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lear, in King Lear, act 3, sc. 4, l. 11-4.
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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

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