William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Though this be madness, yet there is
    method in't.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Polonius, in Hamlet, act 2, sc. 2, l. 206-7 (1604). Referring to the logic in Hamlet's "mad" discourse. The expression, "there is method in my/his/her madness" has entered common usage.
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  • ''Thou and I
    Have thirty miles to ride yet ere dinner-time.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince Hal, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 3, sc. 3, l. 197-8. To Peto, on their way to fight with rebels.
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  • ''Heaven is above all yet; there sits a judge
    That no king can corrupt.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Queen Katherine, in Henry VIII, act 3, sc. 1, l. 100-1. Rejecting the corrupt advice of Wolsey and Campeius.
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  • ''O, give me thy hand,
    One writ with me in sour misfortune's book!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Romeo, in Romeo and Juliet, act 5, sc. 3, l. 81-2. Addressing Paris, whom he has just fought and killed.
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  • ''Signior Antonio, many a time and oft
    In the Rialto you have rated me
    About my moneys and my usances.
    Still have I borne it with a patient shrug
    (For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe).''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Shylock, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 3, l. 106-10. "Rated" means berated; "usances" means usury.
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  • ''Faith, I have been a truant in the law,
    And never yet could frame my will to it,
    And therefore frame the law unto my will.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Suffolk, in Henry VI, Part 1, act 2, sc. 4, l. 7-9. Having neglected study of the law ("been a truant"), he makes his own, since he cannot adapt or bend ("frame") his will to it.
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  • ''Thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move me
    On the first view to say, to swear, I love thee.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Titania, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 3, sc. 1, l. 140-1. To Bottom, transformed by Oberon's magic into an ass; "fair virtue's force" means power of your unblemished excellence.
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  • ''I hold the olive in my hand. My words are as full of peace as matter.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Viola, in Twelfth Night, act 1, sc. 5, l. 209-11. Bringing Orsino's message of love to Olivia.
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  • ''How now, which of your hips has the most profound sciatica?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. 1st Gentleman, in Measure for Measure, act 1, sc. 2, l. 58-9. Greeting the bawd, Mistress Overdone.
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  • ''The jury, passing on the prisoner's life,
    May have in the sworn twelve a thief or two
    Guiltier than him they try.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Angelo, in Measure for Measure, act 2, sc. 1.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day? (Sonnet 18)

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe, or ...

Read the full of Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day? (Sonnet 18)

Sonnet Lxxvii

Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear,
Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste;
The vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear,
And of this book this learning mayst thou taste.
The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show
Of mouthed graves will give thee memory;
Thou by thy dial's shady stealth mayst know
Time's thievish progress to eternity.
Look, what thy memory can not contain