William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Polonius. What do you read, my lord?
    Hamlet. Words, words, words.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Polonius and Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 2, sc. 2, l. 191-2. Hamlet, affecting madness, answers Polonius's question literally.
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  • ''This sanguine coward, this bed-presser, this horse-back-
    breaker, this huge hill of flesh.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince Hal, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 2, sc. 4, l. 241-3. Insulting Falstaff.
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  • ''Whom I most hated living, thou hast made me
    With thy religious truth and modesty,
    Now in his ashes honor.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Queen Katherine, in Henry VIII, act 4, sc. 2, l. 73-5. Changing her opinion of Cardinal Wolsey; "modesty" = moderation.
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  • ''All these woes shall serve
    For sweet discourses in our times to come.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Romeo, in Romeo and Juliet, act 3, sc. 5, l. 52-3. Leaving Juliet and Verona as a banished man.
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  • ''Let not the sound of shallow foppery enter
    My sober house.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Shylock, in The Merchant of Venice, act 2, sc. 5, l. 35-6. Telling his daughter Jessica to close up his house while he is away, and not listen to the Christians revelling outside.
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  • ''She's beautiful, and therefore to be wooed;
    She is a woman, therefore to be won.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Suffolk, in Henry VI, Part 1, act 5, sc. 3, l. 78-9. Seeing Margaret of France as a match for King Henry.
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  • ''Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
    Will we sing, and bless this place.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Titania, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 5, sc. 1, l. 399-400. Blessing the bridal chamber of Theseus and Hippolyta.
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  • ''She never told her love,
    But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud
    Feed on her damask cheek. She pined in thought,
    And with a green and yellow melancholy
    She sat like patience on a monument,
    Smiling at grief. Was not this love indeed?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Viola, in Twelfth Night, act 2, sc. 4, l. 110-5. Disguised as Cesario, she is forced to conceal her love for Orsino, to whom she is speaking.
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  • ''Come, thou shalt go home, and we'll have flesh for holidays, fish for fasting-days, and moreo'er puddings and flap-jacks, and thou shalt be welcome.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. 1st Fisherman, in Pericles, act 2, sc. 1, l. 81-3. The fisherman takes pity on the shipwrecked Pericles; "flap- jacks" = pancakes.
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  • ''I not deny
    The jury, passing on the prisoner's life,
    May in the sworn twelve have a thief or two
    Guiltier than him they try. What's open made to justice,
    That justice seizes.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Angelo, in Measure for Measure, act 2, sc. 1, l. 18-22. To Escalus, who has been pleading to save Claudio from a sentence of death.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

A Fairy Song

Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire!
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours;
In those freckles live their savours;
I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.

Read the full of A Fairy Song

Sonnet Ci

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?

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