William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''I do forgive thy robbery, gentle thief,
    Although thou steal thee all my poverty;
    And yet love knows, it is a greater grief
    To bear love's wrong, than hate's known injury.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Take all my loves, my love, yea take them all (l. 9-12). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''The spring, the summer,
    The childing autumn, angry winter change
    Their wonted liveries, and the mazèd world
    By their increase now knows not which is which.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Titania, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 2, sc. 1, l. 111-4. On the confusion brought about by her quarrel with Oberon; "childing" means fruitful; "mazèd" means bewildered.
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  • ''Olivia. Whence came you, sir?
    Viola. I can say little more than I have studied, and that question's out of my part.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Viola, in Twelfth Night, act 1, sc. 5, l. 178-9. Olivia thinks Viola is a man, Cesario; Viola is indeed playing a part, that of Orsino's messenger of love.
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  • ''Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens,
    'Tis just the fashion.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. 1st Lord, in As You Like It, act 2, sc. 1, l. 55-6. Quoting Jaques, moralizing over the fate of a wounded stag, ignored by its fellows.
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  • ''O cunning enemy, that to catch a saint,
    With saints doth bait thy hook! Most dangerous
    Is that temptation that doth goad us on
    To sin in loving virtue.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Angelo, in Measure for Measure, act 2, sc. 2, l. 179-82. Angelo imagines Satan (the "enemy") as causing him to be attracted sexually to Isabella.
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  • ''Let us presently go sit in council,
    How covert matters may be best disclosed
    And open perils surest answered.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Antony, in Julius Caesar, act 4, sc. 1, l. 45-7. To Octavius, as they take power in Rome.
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  • ''Beatrice. Will you go hear this news, signor?
    Benedick. I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap and be buried in thy eyes; and moreover, I will go with thee to thy uncle's.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Beatrice and Benedick, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 5, sc. 2, l. 101-4. Benedick's witty response to her question plays on "die" as referring to sexual orgasm, a common image in poetry of Shakespeare's age.
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  • ''This must my comfort be:
    That sun that warms you here shall shine on me.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Bolingbroke, in Richard II, act 1, sc. 3, l. 144-5. On being banished by King Richard.
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  • ''What a blunt fellow is this grown to be!
    He was quick mettle when he went to school.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Brutus, in Julius Caesar, act 1, sc. 2, l. 295-6. Describing Casca; "quick mettle" means lively in spirit.
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  • ''O God, that men should put an enemy into their mouths to steal away their brains!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cassio, in Othello, act 2, sc. 3, l. 289-91. On losing his office because of drunkenness.
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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 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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