William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''For what is wedlock forcèd, but a hell,
    An age of discord and continual strife?
    Whereas the contrary bringeth bliss,
    And is a pattern of celestial peace.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Suffolk, in Henry VI, Part 1, act 5, sc. 5, l. 62-5. Proposing the King should marry for love.
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  • ''Music, ho, music such as charmeth sleep!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Titania, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 4, sc. 1, l. 83. "Charmeth" means induces like a charm.
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  • ''Make me a willow cabin at your gate,
    And call upon my soul within the house;
    Write loyal cantons of contemned love,
    And sing them loud even in the dead of night;
    Halloo your name to the reverberate hills,
    And make the babbling gossip of the air
    Cry out "Olivia!" O, you should not rest
    Between the elements of air and earth
    But you should pity me.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Viola, in Twelfth Night, act 1, sc. 5, l. 268-76. Her sentimental description of a devoted lover; the willow was a symbol of unrequited love; "my soul" means Olivia; "cantons" means songs.
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  • ''1st Lady. Madam, we'll tell tales.
    Queen. Of sorrow or of joy?
    1st Lady. Of either, madam.
    Queen. Of neither, girl.
    For if of joy, being altogether wanting,
    It doth remember me the more of sorrow.
    Or if of grief, being altogether had,
    It adds more sorrow to my want of joy.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. 1st Lady and Queen, in Richard II, act 3, sc. 4, l. 10-16. "Remember" means remind.
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  • ''We must not make a scarecrow of the law,
    Setting it up to fear the birds of prey,
    And let it keep one shape, till custom make it
    Their perch and not their terror.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Angelo, in Measure for Measure, act 2, sc. 1, l. 1-4. "Fear" means frighten.
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  • ''O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
    That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Antony, in Julius Caesar, act 3, sc. 1, l. 254-5. Looking at the dead body of Caesar, now earth; compare Genesis 3:19, "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."
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  • ''In my school-days, when I had lost one shaft,
    I shot his fellow of the self-same flight
    The self-same way with more advised watch
    To find the other forth, and by adventuring both
    I oft found both.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Bassanio, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 1, l. 140-4. The image is from archery; "advised watch" means careful estimation; "forth" means out.
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  • ''Methinks King Richard and myself should meet
    With no less terror than the elements
    Of fire and water, when their thundering shock
    At meeting tears the cloudy cheeks of heaven.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Bolingbroke, in Richard II, act 3, sc. 3, l. 54-7. Fire and water were two of the four elements thought to compose all matter (the others being earth and air).
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  • ''Since the quarrel
    Will bear no color for the thing he is,
    Fashion it thus: that what he is, augmented,
    Would run to these and these extremities.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Brutus, in Julius Caesar, act 2, sc. 1, l. 28-31. Finding specious reasons to join the conspiracy, and admitting it cannot be justified ("Will bear no color") by what Caesar has done.
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  • ''Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cassio, in Othello, act 2, sc. 3, l. 262-4. On being cashiered for drinking and quarrelling.
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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 Lxvi

Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And guilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,