William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''At your request
    My father will grant precious things as trifles.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Florizel, in The Winter's Tale, act 5, sc. 1, l. 221-2. To Perdita; "as" means as if they were.
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  • ''As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods,
    They kill us for their sport.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gloucester, in King Lear, act 4, sc. 1, l. 36-7. A cynical or despairing view; "wanton" means playful.
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  • ''Sure He that made us with such large discourse,
    Looking before and after, gave us not
    That capability and godlike reason
    To fust in us unused.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 4, sc. 4, l. 36-9. Reason is "godlike" as shared with the creator, and marking the difference between human beings and beasts.
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  • ''Therefore is love said to be a child
    Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Helena, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 1, sc. 1, l. 238-9. "Child" means both Cupid, and lover who are so often deluded ("beguiled") in the choice they make.
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  • ''I have't. It is engendered. Hell and night
    Must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 1, sc. 3, l. 403-4. Exactly what evil Iago has in mind is not yet clear.
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  • ''Thy loving voyage
    Is but for two months victualled.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Jaques, in As You Like It, act 5, sc. 4, l. 91-2. To Touchstone, about to marry Audrey.
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  • ''Our hands are full of business, let's away,
    Advantage feeds him fat while men delay.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 3, sc. 2, l. 179-80. "Feeds him fat" means grows lazy, loses its edge.
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  • ''O Lord that lends me life,
    Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry VI, Part 2, act 1, sc. 1, l. 19-20.
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  • ''My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
    And every tongue brings in a several tale,
    And every tale condemns me for a villain.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Richard, in Richard III, act 5, sc. 5. Later, before the Battle of Bosworth, Richard rejects conscience with the words, "Conscience is but a word that cowards use, Devised at first to keep the strong in awe" (act 5, sc. 6).
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  • ''I am a man more sinned against than sinning.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lear, in King Lear, act 3, sc. 2, l. 59-60 (1623).
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

Fear No More

Fear no more the heat o' the sun;
Nor the furious winter's rages,
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages;
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney sweepers come to dust.

Fear no more the frown of the great,
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke:
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning-flash,
Nor the all-dread thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy ...

Read the full of Fear No More

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