William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''This above all: to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Polonius, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 3, l. 78-80. The last of a list of wise precepts addressed to his son, who is going to live abroad.
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  • ''That reverend Vice, that grey Iniquity, that father Ruffian,
    that Vanity in years.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince Hal, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 2, sc. 4, l. 453-4. Meaning Falstaff; "Vice," "Iniquity," "Ruffian" and "Vanity" are type names suggesting a morality play.
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  • ''When from thy shore the tempest beat us back,
    I stood upon the hatches in the storm.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Queen Margaret, in Henry VI, Part 2, act 3, sc. 2, l. 102-3. Her account of sailing to England.
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  • ''One fairer than my love! The all-seeing sun
    Ne'er saw her match since first the world begun.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Romeo, in Romeo and Juliet, act 1, sc. 2, l. 92-3. He is infatuated with Rosaline.
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  • ''I will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and so following; but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Shylock, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 3, l. 35-8. Speaking to the Christian Bassanio.
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  • ''Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Suffolk, in Henry VI, Part 2, act 3, sc. 1, l. 53. Proverbial.
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  • ''Never since the middle summer's spring
    Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead,
    By pavèd fountain or by rushy brook,
    Or in the beachèd margent of the sea
    To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind,
    But with thy brawls thou hast disturbed our sport.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Titania, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 2, sc. 1, l. 82-7. The quarrel between Oberon and Titania has gone on since the beginning of summer; a "paved" fountain flows over stones; "margent" means margin, and "ringlets" are circular dances that mark the grass with fairy rings.
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  • ''I hate ingratitude more in a man
    Than lying, vainness, babbling, drunkenness,
    Or any taint of vice whose strong corruption
    Inhabits our frail blood.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Viola, in Twelfth Night, act 3, sc. 4, l. 354-7. To Antonio, who mistakes her, in her disguise as Cesario, for her brother Sebastian.
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  • ''The big round tears
    Coursed one another down his innocent nose
    In piteous chase.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. 1st Lord, in As You Like It, act 2, sc. 1, l. 38-40. Describing the distress of a wounded stag.
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  • ''Alack, when once our grace we have forgot,
    Nothing goes right; we would, and we would not.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Angelo, in Measure for Measure, act 4, sc. 4, l. 33-4. Ashamed, he thinks he has forced Isabella to have sex with him, and executed her brother Claudio; "grace" means sense of right, and the divine grace given to man.
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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 Li

Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed:
From where thou art why should I haste me thence?
Till I return, of posting is no need.
O, what excuse will my poor beast then find,
When swift extremity can seem but slow?
Then should I spur, though mounted on the wind;
In winged speed no motion shall I know:
Then can no horse with my desire keep pace;

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