William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''The miserable have no other medicine
    But only hope.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Claudio, in Measure for Measure, act 3, sc. 1, l. 2-3 (1623).
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  • ''All strange and terrible events are welcome,
    But comforts we despise.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 4, sc. 15, l. 3-4. Preparing for the worst.
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  • '''Tis not the many oaths that makes the truth,
    But the plain single vow that is vowed true.
    What is not holy, that we swear not by,
    But take the Highest to witness.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Diana, in All's Well That Ends Well, act 4, sc. 2, l. 21-2. Rejecting Bertram's protestations of love as unholy.
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  • ''Here feel we not the penalty of Adam,
    The seasons' difference.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Duke Senior, in As You Like It, act 2, sc. 1, l. 6. There were no seasons until Adam was expelled from the Garden of Eden.
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  • ''The King himself is to be feared as the lion.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 3, sc. 3, l. 149. As the lion is king of the beasts.
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  • ''The gods themselves,
    Humbling their deities to love, have taken
    The shapes of beasts upon them. Jupiter
    Became a bull, and bellowed; the green Neptune
    A ram, and bleated; and the fire-robed god,
    Golden Apollo, a poor humble swain.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Florizel, in The Winter's Tale, act 4, sc. 4, l. 25-30. What Florizel does not say to Perdita is that the aim of all these gods was to seduce a mortal girl; Apollo was god of the sun.
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  • ''Alack, the night comes on, and the bleak winds
    Do sorely ruffle; for many miles about
    There's scarce a bush.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gloucester, in King Lear, act 2, sc. 4, l. 300-2. "Ruffle" means rage.
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  • ''But to my mind, though I am native here
    And to the manner born, it is a custom
    More honored in the breach than the observance.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 4, l. 14-6. Commenting on the music accompanying the king's carousing and revelry by night; "manner" means custom; "more honored in the breach than the observance" means which it is more honorable to break than to observe.
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  • ''We cannot fight for love, as men may do;
    We should be wooed, and were not made to woo.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Helena, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 2, sc. 1, l. 241-2. Following Demetrius, who is trying to shake her off.
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  • ''O wretched fool,
    That lov'st to make thine honesty a vice!
    O monstrous world! Take note, take note, O world,
    To be direct and honest is not safe.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 3, sc. 3, l. 375-8. The "wretched fool" is Iago himself, hypocritically protesting his honesty to Othello.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

A Fairy Song

Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire!
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours;
In those freckles live their savours;
I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.

Read the full of A Fairy Song

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?